KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WFFT) - On Sept. 1, LSC Communications, a print and digital communications company, notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that they would lay off all of the roughly 307 employees at one of their two facilities in Kendallville.
When Kendallville Mayor Suzanne Handshoe got the news she said she was "Sick to my stomach. It was quite the blow."
Handshoe says there was no discussion about trouble at the company, even though they had such a good rrapport with the city. "I didn’t see it coming at all. There was no dialogue at least introducing the fact that things weren’t going well," Handshoe said. "I was very disappointed to receive notification in a letter."
In a WARN letter to the state, LSC Communications say the job loss is due to "continued deterioration of market conditions."
Employees who spoke with FOX 55 off-camera say with education systems converting to digital, there’s less need for paper materials, causing a decline in profits.
As the jobs are phased out, Handshoe says the total payroll lost in the community would be about $28 million, meaning the city loses out on payroll tax money, and if the building, located at 2500 Marion Drive in Kendallville, sits vacant too long, they’ll loss property tax money as well.
Handshoe explained that property tax loss would be at least $85,000 and "Personal property, they’re all lumped together with their machinery, so still significant. Probably in the hundreds of thousands."
Gary Gatman, executive director of the Noble County Economic Development Corporation says he didn’t receive any notice either besides the WARN letter to the state.
Gatman said his initial reaction was just like that of any other time they receive news of businesses closing, "What are we going to do to take care of the workers. I mean, the first priority is taking care of our own and the folks who work at LSC is part of the Noble County family, so it’s all about that."
So now, with little notice, the city and county are scrambling to keep disruptions to a minimum for people and the government. Handshoe said, "Our goal is to get every single one of those employees placed in a job and, again, to occupy that plant and get those back on the tax rolls."
Handshoe and Gatman explained that they’ve been contacted by multiple employers in Noble County to fill open positions and with the help of LSC, have created two job fairs the effected LSC employees will have the ability to attend.
Handshoe also says her office has been contacted by at least 4 other businesses who have discussed possibly occupying the building once it’s empty. So there is actually some cautious optimism surrounding this situation.
FOX 55 tried to reach LSC Communications for comment, they have not responded to our messages as of the publishing of this story.