The mood was glum at high school yearbook maker Jostens in Topeka, as employees were given the news that the company is moving its operations to Clarksville, Tennessee in July. The move eliminates more than 370 jobs at the plant on Topeka's southeast side. Mike Vannordstrand, president of the union that represents about 300 of the affected employees, says the decision wasn't unexpected, yet it still came as a shock.
The phase-out of the Topeka plant will be complete by the end of the year. Vannordstrand says the move will hurt Topeka, because the jobs being lost are comparatively high-paying production jobs. Some jobs will stay in Topeka...but not many, and none in production. An official statement from Jostens headquarters in Minneapolis says approximately 87 jobs will remain in Topeka, mainly in customer service, art, marketing and technical support.