But "it's not just numbers," Upton adds. "John knows everybody at State St., and I know everybody at Jackson Rd. It's the folks affected that's difficult. Unfortunately we couldn't avoid the situation of the industry downturn. But we are taking steps to expand into the growing digital printing market, so I'm quite optimistic."
"This decision was a big deal and not taken lightly or in a vacuum," John Edwards says. "Dad told me, 'You are a steward for the business. It's not a cash machine for you. Make the business as viable as possible.' We'll move the best equipment to one building, and we're investing heavily in digital printing customization, where we are well positioned already.
"I think the worst is behind us. As we sell the oldest presses we may well have more layoffs, though we hope to take it slow and lose people through natural attrition. The reaction of the employees, as the shock is wearing off, ranges from 'What took you so long?' to 'I understand what you're doing.' But for some people it's closer to home."
Though Edwards will still have his job, leaving State St. for the former Malloy plant will be wrenching. He has spent all his working life, except for four years, in the place where his grandfather, father, and uncle once presided.