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More than 200 to lose jobs as Quad magazine print plant announces closure

CALIFORNIA (From news reports) -- Quad announced plans to cease all print manufacturing operations at its Merced, California, plant on or around April 28, 2023, impacting approximately 240 workers employed there. The 540,000-sq.-ft. Merced retail advertising insert and magazine printing facility -- which was acquired as part of Quad's massive acquisition of Worldcolor in 2010, whereby Quad also filed an IPO to become a publicly-traded company on the NYSE -- is owned by Quad and will be put up for sale.

"The decision is part of the company's ongoing strategy to maximize capacity utilization in plants where it believes it can achieve the greatest manufacturing and distribution efficiencies, and overall value to clients," Quad said in a statement. "This decision in no way reflects the quality and performance of employees in the plant, all of whom have performed well and worked hard to make the plant succeed."

The Merced printing operation on Cooper Avenue opened in 1981 as Merced Color Press, and printed TV Guide. During the 1990s, it also printed editions of People Magazine, Time, and Sports Illustrated. Reportedly, more than 900 people worked at the printing operations in Merced in the mid-2000s, the newspaper also indicated.

Quad indicated it is offering employees a comprehensive separation package that includes severance pay, continuation of healthcare benefits, and career transition assistance through a career counseling company. Client work printed in Merced will be transitioned to other Quad facilities.

With a population of approximately 86,000 people, the city of Merced is located in the San Joaquin Valley, about 110 miles southeast of San Francisco and approximately 60 miles north of Fresno. It is sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to Yosemite" due to its close proximity to Yosemite National Park.

The impending Merced, California, plant closure and subsequent capacity reduction is a reflection of the overall market decline in the retail advertising insert and publication printing markets. It follows on the heels of the January 2023 announcement by LSC Communications of plans to close its two long-run catalog and magazine printing plants located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Those two former RRD facilities will shutter by March 31, and will impact a total of 656 LSC workers.

Following the LSC plant closures announcement, more than 20 printing companies -- some from across the country -- reached out to LSC to inquire about hiring some of the displaced skilled workers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,. Hopefully, similar opportunities will present themselves for several of the 240 Quad Merced, California, facility employees who are now seeking new job opportunities.

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