DRYDEN, N.Y. — It’s a sad day for Dryden. Vanguard Graphics LLC, also known as Vanguard Printing, has announced plans to close its facility at 17 Hallwoods Road, and lay off all its staff.

Notices were given to employees Friday morning. The letters state that layoffs will begin in August and be completed by the end of September. According to an online business filing, Vanguard employs 140 at the Dryden location. A WARN notice has yet to be filed with the New York State Department of Labor.

“We realize this is difficult news, and a challenging situation,” states the letter, signed by Acting General Manager Thomas Simunek. “You have made many positive contributions to the Company during your tenure and we thank you for your dedication and efforts.” In a phone call inquiry, representatives of the company declined to comment, saying they would “neither confirm nor deny” the letters given to staff, and would not speak to press until Monday at the earliest.

Founded in 1901 in Ithaca as Quality Press and later renamed Wilcox Press, Vanguard acquired the facility in 2006, and was in turn taken over by Kappa Printing Management Associates LLC (KPMA) in 2016. The former president of Vanguard retired last year, turning over full control to KPMA. Vanguard specializes in the design and production of commercial print publications, such as catalogs, calendars and magazines. In the late 1990s, the 204,000 square-foot production facility employed over 270 people.

A reason for the layoff was not given in the letter. In the past several years, the widespread shift to electronic media has resulted in the bankruptcy and closure of printing facilities nationwide.

The mass layoff is the second in three years for the town of Dryden, and the largest since Mettler Toledo announced the closure of its 185-employee plant, and the shifting all manufacturing operations to a new facility in Florida in August 2016.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.