Henrico printing plant closing, laying off 184 workers
Cenveo Worldwide Ltd.'s Cadmus plant lost business due to COVID-19 pandemic
Stamford, Connecticut-based Cenveo Worldwide Ltd. is shutting down its Cadmus printing plant in Henrico County by the end of May, laying off 184 employees.
The company, whose customers include Virginia Business magazine, filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice with the Virginia Employment Commission on Monday, May 4, notifying them of the closure of the plant. The VEC is sending a Rapid Response Services team to assist the workers who are losing their jobs.
The printing plant was open Tuesday, but an employee said he couldn’t discuss the closing because he had signed a nondisclosure agreement.
In recent years, the Cenveo plant in Richmond has printed comic books (for major publishers, including Marvel Comics) and magazines (including Virginia Business), along with journals and books and other printed matter, such as direct mail advertisements. Cenveo also owns subsidiaries that print labels, envelopes, packaging and marketing materials.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our customers’ businesses and, in turn, has diminished the available work at the facility. One large customer has ceased all work permanently, several publishers have cancelled or delayed their print projects, and nearly all comic production has ceased,” the company’s regional human resources manager, Laurie Burger wrote, explaining why the company was unable to file the WARN notice 60 days ahead of the plant closure as required when announcing factory closures and mass layoffs.
“The friends we have worked with at the Cadmus Byrd plant will be sorely missed,” said Tim Birdsong, a sales representative with New Jersey-based Roosevelt Paper Co., one of the printing plant’s suppliers. “Roosevelt Paper wishes each of them the best possible success in these daunting times. They are in our thoughts and prayers. We wish them good health and safety.”
Cenveo, which emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2018, acquired Cadmus Communications — which then had about 3,300 employees — for about $430 million, including debt, in 2007. Cadmus was then the world’s largest printer of scientific, technical and medical journals, as well as the fifth-largest periodicals printer in North America, with annual revenues above $450 million, according to a news release at the time of purchase. In 2010, Cenveo closed three printing facilities, including the LexisNexis plant in Charlottesville, with a loss of nearly 300 workers.
The plant traces its origins back to William Byrd Press Inc., a commercial periodical press founded in Richmond in 1913. Byrd merged with Washburn Graphics Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1984, forming Cadmus Communications Corp. as a holding company. After the merger, Byrd and Washburn continued to operate under separate management. Cadmus Communications made several purchases in the 1980s and ’90s, including the 1999 buyout of Waverly Press, a Baltimore-based research journal printer. Waverly and Byrd Press combined to create Cadmus Journal Services.