Plant Closes Putting Hundreds of Jobs on the Chopping Block

April 19, 2011 Updated Apr 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

April 19, 2011 Updated Apr 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM EDT

The parking lot at Quad Graphics is usually buzzing with employees making their way to work. This Tuesday morning was different. The company gave these people some time off to reflect on some bad news. The company is closing up shop laying off 400 workers.

"This is a dying industry. The equipment is older than I am so to upgrade that and the cost effectiveness of that is so much more than they're willing to spend," employee Lisa Stroh said.

Stroh has been with the company, that prints magazines, catalogs and paperback books, for more than a decade and she is just one of the many people losing their jobs.

The company said these employees can apply to Quad Plants in other parts of the country but some people said this causes more problems. Many people who have rooted their lives rooted in Western New York and may not want to leave. Others, who do go elsewhere, leave a whole in the community.

"That's one of the problems is the flight of our youth and they have to go elsewhere to find jobs and opportunity," New York State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak said.

The loss of these jobs also puts others at risk of losing their livelihood or having to struggle to make ends meet. Joe Hance is a truck driver who delivers to Quad. He said this is not the first of his delivery job that disappear in recent months.
"Plants keep closing in this area and it is really taking money out of my pocket and I'm losing stops," Hance said.

In some families, both spouses worked here so these layoffs hit those families extra hard.

"It's a shame just this whole are there is nothing for anybody. The only thing is if you're young you can maybe move out and find something different," retired employee Joseph Czajka said.

But Quad officials said they are taking a proactive approach to helping these employees find work. In the meantime, workers will stay on the job until the doors are closed for good at the end of the year.