A longstanding Steelville business will close its doors in the spring, and with that closure 29 employees will be facing the loss of their current jobs. San Val Bindery Services will end its tenure in Steelville somewhere between March and May, according to Lisa Whealon, director of Human Resources, and located at the St. Louis office.
San Val is a family-owned business that has been providing book-rebinding services to schools and libraries since it was founded in 1962. The production facilities in Steelville were opened in the 1970s, but that work will soon come to an end. A letter to customers posted on the San Val website from business owners Neil and Gary Jaffe states, “In order to focus on the continued growth of Turtleback Books and in response to the evolving demands of the book industry, San Val, Inc. is eliminating all product lines except Turtleback as of January 31, 2013…San Val will accept no new orders after January 31, 2013. Thank you for your business, and for your continued support.”
Whealon noted that a specific closing date for the Steelville plant has not yet been determined as that will depend somewhat on customer orders that remain to be completed.
Mardy Leathers, acting within his dual roles of Crawford County Clerk and founder and president of Cuba Development Group (CDG), immediately reached out to the local business to offer local assistance in finding the San Val employees new jobs. He also contacted resources on the state level at the Missouri Career Centers.
“We stand poised and ready to do everything we can to mitigate the negative economic impact on the region as a result of San Val’s closure,” Leathers said.
The state offers help in the form of a Rapid Response team that opens resources that are only available to employees and employers in this type of situation. They offer job training assistance, job placement assistance, job skills matching and unemployment compensation information.
CDG’s goal is to sustain the regional economy by helping employees transition to another local firm, if possible. “There are local employers hiring at this time,” Leathers noted. “And there is an incentive for local employers to hire displaced workers which comes in the form of a state payroll tax credit.”
Leathers explained that CDG will work within the local network in three ways. The first is to contact local companies to see what positions they have available to help place those who lose their jobs. The second is to be the “boots on the ground” for the state. “We will coordinate between local and state resources,” Leathers said. And the third is that, if those looking for new jobs can’t find one in the local region, CDG will expand the region, exploring contacts in Sullivan, Owensville, and other areas that are still fairly close to home.
Whealon noted that her department is investigating the local and state resources that are available to the company during the transition and that the company’s human resources department has offered assistance with resume writing and other job search help. “Anything we can do to help,” she said.
She also reported that plans for the building and property are “up in the air.” Leathers noted that another role of CDG could be to find another company to utilize the facility. “The biggest thing, outside of helping the employees, would be to market the building to new businesses, to potential employers,” he said. “The overall idea is not only to place the current employees in new jobs, but also to possibly create more jobs with a new business.”
San Val employees who will be looking for new jobs can contact CDG at (573) 885-1344 for assistance.