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Jostens Announces 230 Job Cuts in Ferguson Township

on April 26, 2011 4:49 PM

Jostens plans to cut 230 of its roughly 260 State College-area jobs by the third quarter of 2011, the Minnesota yearbook publisher announced Tuesday.

The move will affect primarily production positions at the company's plant in Ferguson Township, along Science Park Road, according to Jostens. It's consolidating significant production operations at a new, state-of-the-art facility in Clarksville, Tenn., a company spokesman said.

"The employees in State College have served customers very well," Jostens communications director Rich Stoebe said in a phone interview with "It was a very difficult decision."

He said consolidating production in Clarksville, where Jostens is phasing out another older plant, will allow the company to "take advantage of some of our equipment investments and some of our technology solutions" and to create new efficiencies. Those efficiencies, Stoebe said, will benefit both Jostens customers and the company itself.

Jostens was purchased by Visant Corp. in 2004. It opened its Ferguson Township yearbook plant in 1972.

Stoebe said the company expects "a certain number of positions" will be newly created in Clarksville, though it's not immediately clear how many new jobs will materialize.

He said laid-off Jostens employees who are interested in the new Clarksville jobs may apply for positions that they're qualified for. Those affected by the Ferguson Township layoffs will receive severance and outplacement services, the company confirmed.

Jostens President Timothy Larson was at the Science Park Road facility at 8 a.m. Tuesday to make the job-cut announcement, Stoebe said.

The Jostens jobs expected to remain in the Centre Region are centered largely in customer service, design, marketing, sales and pre-press support functions, according to the company. Whether the remaining workers in this area will stay in the Science Park Road building or move to another local address remains to be seen.

Jostens, which also produces class rings and other scholastic and graduation products, employs about 3,500 people overall. Most of its employees are in North America, Stoebe said.

"We're still proud of the fact ... that we still create all of (our) yearbooks in the U.S.," he said. "We're still able to do that in Clarksville as well as in other locations in the U.S."

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