Because of reduced demand for long-run print catalogs and magazines, LSC Communications announced this week that it’s closing the two R.R. Donnelley plants in Lancaster, idling an estimated 656 employees.
As recently as three years ago, the facilities employed a combined 1,200 or so workers, according to media reports. R.R. Donnelley first began operating in Lancaster in 1960.
In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing sent to the state Department of Labor & Industry, LSC said Donnelley’s Lancaster East Plant at 216 Greenfield Road and Lancaster West Plant at 1375 Harrisburg Pike would shutter their doors effective March 31.
The WARN notice said approximately 276 workers would be affected at the Greenfield site and 380 at the Harrisburg Pike location. None of the employees are part of a union, the filing reported.
“As you might imagine, this is a difficult time for us,” company spokeswoman Melissa Noebes said in an email. “We are prioritizing our efforts on our impacted employees with a focus on job placement assistance, career transition support, severance packages, etc. The Lancaster community has been very supportive. Already half-dozen area employers have reached out to us with job opportunities and we are doing everything we can to facilitate those connections.
“The consensus among our employees and customers is that many saw this coming; however, it is still a shocker when the inevitable finally happens.”
Noebes said that work currently produced in Lancaster will move to LSC Communications’ long-run print facilities in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and Warsaw, Indiana, and that customers will continue to be served without interruption.
She also included a statement from the company’s CEO, Stephanie Mains. “LSC emerged from bankruptcy a few years ago and we’ve been doing everything possible, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, to stabilize our business and plan for growth in the future. At the same time, demand for long-run catalog and magazine printing has continued to decline, while paper and ink costs continue to rise. Our customers are reducing their page counts and print runs, and some are converting to other marketing channels, forcing us to closely examine our operations and position ourselves for winning in a new marketplace.”
Mains said the decision to consolidate “was made after having exhausted all other options for the business. It has zero to do with our team members’ abilities or commitment; they are exceptional workers and people, and we’re doing everything possible to support them during this transition period.”
“Our Lancaster employees have earned their place in the rich history of American printing, and we are thankful for their contributions to the company and their local community.”
Paula Wolf is a freelance writer