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Berryville Graphics will see 165 new workers

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

Berryville Graphics' payroll will expand by about 165 employees during the course of the next three years as a result of a consolidation within its parent company.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's office had announced earlier this week that Bertelsmann AG -- the Germany-based parent company of Berryville Graphics -- had chosen to consolidate printing operations at the Clarke County plant rather than one in Kentucky.

McDonnell, who is on a marketing trip to Europe, met with Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe in Germany and was able to "personally close this important deal for Virginia," a news release from the governor's office states.

According to the release, Bertelsmann will be investing $10.6 million into its book-printing operation.

"You're going to be looking at about 84 new jobs, newly created jobs in the commonwealth," Berryville Town Manager Keith Dalton said in a Thursday afternoon phone interview.

He said 81 jobs would be coming from other locations within Virginia.

"The governor obviously wants to make sure he's creating jobs and not just moving them around," Dalton said.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Communications Manager Suzanne West confirmed Thursday the 81 transfers would be from Coral Graphics, in Winchester. Coral Graphics is another Bertelsmann holding.

In an email, West stated "virtually" all of the 84 new jobs would be for new hires, with "only a handful" coming from other Bertelsmann sites. The partnership worked with local officials to get the project, the news release says.

More than 130 Berryville Graphics employees have been laid off in the past few years.

Dalton said Berryville and Clarke County are splitting a 100-percent match to a $200,000 performance-based grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund. He said they will be doing this through forgoing for three years the additional taxes that would be generated from the improvements to the site and equipment.

Berryville Graphics has paid just shy of $150,000 in annual machinery and tools taxes in the past two years, according to Dalton.

While he doesn't think Berryville Graphics will need to construct any additional buildings, it will have to make some site improvements to accommodate the new equipment needed.

Dalton said it was exciting to have McDonnell and Del. Joe May, R-Leesburg -- who assisted with the project, according to the governor's release -- working with the town and county.

"We're very pleased to have that sort of attention here," he said. "We're really pleased to have Berryville Graphics as a corporate citizen anyway, and to have them increasing their commitment here is fabulous."

A spokeswoman for Berryville Graphics didn't return phone messages Wednesday or Thursday.


If 81 jobs will be filled with transfers from another site, 84 are "new" jobs, but 130 have been laid off in the past few years, then how is that creating new jobs? You are just getting 84 back of the 130 that were lost. That's great that 84 jobs are back, but I'm sure most of the 130 that were laid off experienced some unemployment and maybe still are. Or had to move out of the area to get another job.

Where did Governor McDonnell's office announce the loss of 2,100 jobs because Exxon Mobil is moving out of Fairfax to Houston? It was announced by Exxon Mobil monday - why don't newspapers around Virginia know about this? How could that slip by everyone in Virginia? Governor, didn't you know?

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