DUBUQUE, Iowa-- More than 200 people will soon be out of a job in Dubuque. Quad/Graphics announced Wednesday they are closing their Dubuque plant and permanently laying off all its employees by early March.
City officials tell us this announcement isn't a huge shock. The plant has changed hands several times since it first came to Dubuque in 1949, Quad Graphics has only operated the facility since 2010. Changes in the printing industry, such as a move toward digital mediums, have resulted in struggles both for the industry and the company.
Two-hundred fifteen employees who work for Quad Graphics in Dubuque will now have to seek employment elsewhere. Devastating news to those who work at the printing plant and for those who have been fighting to keep the company from leaving.
"We want the people at Quad Graphics to know this community has been trying for two years behind closed doors to make sure this didn't happen," said Rick Dickinson, President of Greater Dubuque Development Cooperation.
Dickinson was disappointed when he learned the company would be shutting down despite his best efforts.
"Our primary focus is on those 215 people that in some cases worked in print industry for 40 years or more. They are good, talked people who work hard and they didn't deserve this," said Dickinson.
Claire Ho, a spokes woman for Wisconsin based Quad/Graphics tells us , "This was a straightforward business decision based on the softness of the economy and changes in the book industry."
She says the company will work with employees to help them find new jobs. The company does have 300 open positions at sites across the country. But if they want to stay in Dubuque Rick Dickinson says several companies such as IBM are hiring.
"Our economy is strong and vibrant and there will be places for these folks," said Dickinson.
According to Quad/Graphics the last day of work for most will be March 8th. In addition to helping employees find work, they will also be given a separation package with pay extended benefits based on years of service.