Reasons for closure
I read the article in the Aug. 31 issue of The Eudora News announcing that the HP Pelzer Automotive Systems company expressed interest in purchasing the R.R. Donnelley building.
In the article, at least one city commissioner expressed concerns about giving tax abatements to a company to only have them leave when the abatements expired. I had also heard this from some other Eudora citizens expressing the same concerns.
As a former Communicolor employee, I can tell you the reason R.R. Donnelley closed the manufacturing plant in Eudora was not because the abatements expired.
The reason is plain and simple. The Eudora division rarely, if ever, made a profit. With a plant in Newark, Ohio and one here in Eudora, there was only enough work to keep one plant busy. The Ohio plant was the original Communicolor plant, which opened more than 20 or 30 years ago with over 300 employees. R.R. Donnelley decided to consolidate the two plants into one in order to improve their profit margins. Unfortunately for us, the Eudora plant was the one they closed.
The direct mail business is an extremely competitive business and not enough work was sold by the sales force to allow this division to still be here.
I will tell you that when the plant was closing, everyday someone from the Ohio plant mentioned to me that the professionalism shown by the Eudora employees was to be commended. Eudora employees continued through these tough times to perform their duties to the highest standards that allowed customers' orders to be filled.
With the work ethic shown by these employees, it is no wonder other national companies would like to locate in Eudora. So please do not let Communicolor's departure determine whether HP Pelzer should receive the tax abatement.
Ron Zook, Former Uarco/Communicolor employee