PENNSYLVANIA (From news reports) -- RR Donnelley issued notice it would permanently close its Lewisburg plant in November, with an estimated 70 employees losing jobs.
The closure will take place over a 14-day period beginning Nov. 14, according to a notice required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
The notice is published among the September listings on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website. No additional information is provided.
Messages requesting comment haven't yet been returned by an administrator with the local plant, located at 1601 Industrial Blvd., Lewisburg, nor RR Donnelley's corporate headquarters in Chicago.
The local plant is a commercial printing operation. It opened in 1960 as Moore Business Forms and was acquired by RR Donnelley in 2004, according to coverage of the plant's 50th anniversary in 2010.
Char Gray, chair of the East Buffalo Township Board of Supervisors, confirmed that the township hadn't received formal notice of the closure though she said she had heard rumblings.
"It is unfortunate," Gray said Wednesday. "We do have to figure out how to get some of this soft manufacturing back."
Preston Boop, chair of the Union County Board of Commissioners, and Bob Garrett, president and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, each said they were unaware of the announced closure when contacted Wednesday. RR Donnelley is a Chamber member, Garrett said.
Boop acknowledged the potential impact on employees and their families. Those losing work might quickly rebound as employers in Union County and beyond are in demand of employees.
"I hadn't even heard any inklings or rumors," Boop said of the closure. "Certainly in today's labor market there's a shortage of manpower all over the area."
Garrett taught graphic arts at SUN Technical and Vocational School in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"If you had the skill set to land at Moore Business Forms, now RR Donnelley, you were set for life. It truly was a place you went for a career as a graphic artist," Garrett said.
The printed business form is in much less demand as digital forms online are more prevalent, Garrett said. The plant closure wasn't a surprise in that sense, he said, but would certainly shock the employees and their families.
He said that a rapid response team from the state would work with the employees to help them identify new jobs or vocational training. The Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce would be involved not only to assist the employees but also to potentially market the building.
"I can tell you that the moment we market the building we will have interest. The people coming out of there will have multiple job offers as soon as they choose to return to the workforce," Garrett said.