Contract renewal for Quad/Graphics

A renewed contract with publishing company Scholastic will guarantee stability and viability for Waseca’s Quad/Graphics, which looks to take on around 20 new workers to meet the demand.
Scholastic has entered into a seven-year contract with the printing company, an agreement the Waseca facility’s Plant Director Randy Gordon says is unique in the industry, most contracts are three to five years

“Publishers are apprehensive about signing long-term contracts because there are so many market fluctuations,” said Gordon. But the long-term contract with Scholastic means stability for the Waseca plant.

“Scholastic’s happy with us. They like what we do for them, which means they’re going to be here for a while — which means we’re going to be here for a while,” Gordon said.

This benefits Waseca, Gordon says, with workers from the local plant, which employs around 560 people, spending money in town.

“A lot of people don’t see it this way, but Quad/Graphics gives back through everyone who works here,” Gordon said. “They buy utilities and homes — they’re a viable part of the community.”

The increased work to come from the new contract has led to the addition of two new machines in the plant, including a new collator to handle the increased workflow.

Quad/Graphics bought Brown Printing two years ago. Brown was a major employer and mainstay in the area for decades before being acquired by the Quad/Graphics, something Gordon understands and appreciates.

Gordon says Quad/Graphics has done community outreach of its own since it has moved into town. This includes donations to sources like the hockey arena and Waseca County Sleigh and Cutter and other work through the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce.

While the plant acquired the beloved local company, Gordon feels that it has done what it can to retain that history through its workforce.

“What a lot of people don’t think about is that, when Quad bought the company, a lot of changes were made to processes and procedures, but the people who work here have not changed,” he said. “There wasn’t a large scale dismissal of people.

Quad/Graphics is a special interest publications plant, which means that it can meet the needs of more smaller publications. This is how the plant has continued to remain stable in a printing industry that has gone increasingly digital. So being a special interest publication plant has allowed Quad/Graphics’ services to be in demand for this market.

“This workforce has been here since 1957, and we’ve had people who are retiring on us,” Gordon said. “We continue to build and train people to keep that stability.”