Quebecor World Plants Continue Realignment

Quebecor told its 553 workers that the site would join plants in Nashville and Houston, which were also closed as the firm eliminates redundancies and excess capacity in the combined operation.

“The decision to close the (St. Paul) plant was a difficult one, but was made because it doesn’t fit our overall sales strategy with the acquisition [of World Color],” explains Sean Twomey, Quebecor’s vice president of business development, in a published report. Twomey also notes that the plant had failed to meet financial targets.

An undetermined number of Quebecor’s St. Paul workers may be able to transfer to other Quebecor plants. In addition, an outplacement service has been hired to help workers prepare resumes and find jobs locally.

Some of those employees have worked at the plant since the 1960s, when it was owned by Webb Publishing, publisher of Family Handyman and several other magazines. The magazines were all sold off after British media tycoon Robert Maxwell bought Webb in 1986. Quebecor took over in 1989, and undertook a $10 million expansion in 1998 after it landed a large contract.

The good news for workers at the plant is that the Twin Cities printing industry is extensive, and the job market there is tight—the unemployment rate in the city is a remarkable 1.6 percent. Indeed, when word got out that the plant was closing, proposals were immediately put forth for a job fair.

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