RR Donnelley to close in Jefferson City

Closure leaves 500 employees in the capital city without jobs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - RR Donnelley is closing its operations in Jefferson City.

The publishing company, located at 321 Wilson Drive, is scheduled to close on or about October 1, after informing employees of the shutdown during a meeting Thursday morning.

The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce president confirmed around 500 people will lose their jobs as a result.

Chamber officials say they are shocked by this news and they will do anything that can to try and save the facility as well as help employees.

ABC 17 News obtained a copy of the letter that Human Resources Vice President Scott Bigelow sent to employees. In the letter, RR Donnelley officials cited "changing market conditions" for its decision to close.

However, RR Donnelley stated in their 2013 second quarter financial report that it has a free cash flow of $107 million, exceeding the $93 million it had in the second quarter of 2012.

On Thursday morning, name the company as one of its "hot stocks in momentum."

In fact, employees who spoke to ABC 17 News said they recently had been working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week and were constantly busy.

The company says severance packages and subsidized continuation of medical benefits will be offered. They will also offer job search assistance options, according to the letter.

Missouri Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Amy Susan confirmed the state did receive a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice from RR Donnelley that indicated about 475 jobs will be eliminated.

Missouri's Employment Transition Team will meet with employees, but a date has not been set yet. That team will help employees access job postings. The DED is encouraging employees to update their resumes and to access the Missouri jobs website.

RR Donnelley has operations in North America and abroad. In 2011, the company invested $6 million in a plant in Owensville, about 40 miles east of Jefferson City.

State Reps. Jay Barnes and Mike Bernskoetter and Senator Mehoe released the following statement:

"We were disappointed to hear today's announcement that RR Donnelley will be closing its Jefferson City facility on October 1st, eliminating 500 jobs. RR Donnelly has been a fixture in Jefferson City for decades, not only providing employment to many and supporting families, but also being actively involved in a variety of community activities. This company truly is a part of the fabric of central Missouri.

We will join Cole County, Jefferson City, the Jefferson City Chamber, and others to determine if RR Donnelly can be persuaded to remain in Jefferson City. If not, we will ensure that state and local job-training and employment services are prepared to assist affected employees who are not ready to retire.

It is imperative that we continue to work to make Missouri as business-friendly as possible. Established companies that have operated for decades and have hundreds of employees need to remain open in Missouri. Similarly, we need to make sure that Missouri is a destination state, where companies come to plant roots and expand."

Stay with ABC 17 News and for the latest on this developing story.

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