Plant Closure Hits Oklahoma Community Hard

Tuesday, October 18th 2011, 11:36 am
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland and Staff Reports, News On 6

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- A Wisconsin Company has announced it will be closing one of two plants it has in Oklahoma. 

The QuadGraphics plant in Stillwater employs about 240 people. Some of those people could lose their job because the plant announced the plant will stop production in May 2012.

The printing plant has had a number of owners since it was built in 1984. Quad/Graphics moved in July 2010.

Quad/Graphics took over for WorldColor. The company prints things like magazines, retail inserts, and catalogs.

As part of Quad/Graphics acquisition, the plant announced it will cease production at its Richmond Virginia facility and in Stillwater -- leaving the jobs of more than 240 people in production and administration up in the air.

Quad/Graphics says employees were notified Monday via e-mail and in face to face meetings.

Quad/Graphics President and CEO Joel Quadracci says "the closure is another step in our 24-month journey to integrate operations of the combined companies, which will further enhance the efficiency and overall competitiveness of our manufacturing platform."

"We talk about numbers so much. I think we lose some of that. This is not just 250 jobs. This is 250 families in our community," said Josh McKim of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.

Stillwater's Chamber of Commerce says the plant was on a list of potential closures. But the city thought it was in the clear.

"It looked very promising for a while, looked like we had secured the facility. We had every indication that was probably the case until yesterday, when we found out that was not the case," Mckim said.

The city says the loss of jobs will impact the community but the city has dealt with closures before and has rebounded.

We're a fairly robust economy. We'll be able to absorb those I believe. It's just a tough hit," McKim said.

Quad/Graphics says it will help its employees find other jobs. Some of those will be at other Quad/Graphics facilities.

The Stillwater plant is roughly 350,000 square feet and is located on West Airport Road.

Quad/Graphics also has a 1.3 million square feet facility located near Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City.