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Dozens of jobs coming to Berryville Graphics

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

Less than 2 1/2 years after cutting more than 10 percent of its workforce, Berryville Graphics is expanding and hiring 84 more employees, according to Gov. Bob McDonnell's office.

A news release from the governor's office states the book printing company, which is part of Germany-based Bertelsmann AG, is investing $10.6 million to consolidate printing operations at the Clarke County plant.

"The Governor made the announcement following a meeting with Bertelsmann AG CEO Thomas Rabe in Gutersloh during his Europe Marketing Mission," the release states.

"The project will create 84 new jobs and save 81 jobs for Virginia. Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky for the project."

McDonnell met with Rabe, and was able "personally to close this important deal for Virginia," the release quotes him as stating.

The town of Berryville, Clarke County, Del. Joe May and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked together to secure the consolidation, according to the release, and McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund.

In January 2010, Berryville Graphics laid of 68 workers. That came on the heels of 70 layoffs in 2009. The 2010 cuts brought the number of employees at the plant to 520, general manager Mark Bone said at the time.

Bone blamed the lay-offs on price pressures and the decline of book club memberships.
Berryville Graphics prints about 120 million books each year, and has been in Berryville since 1956, according to McDonnell's release.

Berryville Graphics and Coral Graphic Services President and CEO Dave Liess state in the release that the company had to reduce the number of its locations due to challenges the book industry is enduring.

"While this was not an easy decision, the excitement and partnership shown by both the State of Virginia and Clarke County has reinforced our belief that Berryville is the right place to invest," Liess states in the release.

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