By Ralph Echtinaw
Some 82 people will lose their jobs in March when Clover Imaging Group shuts down its plant in Ithaca.
The employees were told Wednesday, Jan. 11, that Clover intends to consolidate its manufacturing, packaging and distribution operations in Michigan. Work now done in Ithaca will be transferred to Clover’s other North American facilities by March 13.
The silver lining is that Clover will maintain engineering, research & development and quality control operations in its Union Street facility with an employee base of 20-25.
“Like all manufacturers, Clover continues to experience increased costs across its entire supply chain,” the company said in a press release. “Consolidating the Ithaca inkjet operations into the same facilities as Clover’s other inkjet and toner cartridge operations enables Clover to maximize operational efficiencies and leverage its manufacturing capabilities to the fullest.
“Clover greatly regrets the impact this change has had on its Ithaca employees. Over the next two months,
Clover will partner with the Dislocated Workers Program to provide transition services to affected employees.
“Clover will also partner with area employers to facilitate reemployment opportunities for the Ithaca team.”
George Bailey, who represents Ithaca on the county commission, had this to say by email: “The news that Clover Technology is moving is disappointing but understandable. The Biden tax hikes. The cost of wages going up. Cost of inflation going up. They are moving this operation to Mexico. It’s very disappointing. But I believe we can fill those buildings back up with different industries, and Gratiot economic development is working towards that.”
Jim Wheeler of Greater Gratiot Development had this to say by email: “The recently announced closure of Clover Imaging Group will impact 82 employees. We are currently working with the state to identify resources to assist current employees. Clover has been a valued employer in Ithaca for almost 20 years, and we are sorry to see its closure.”
The Ithaca operation began as a company called Cartridges Are Us. That business was established in 1997 in St. Johns and moved to Ithaca in 2003. Clover bought Cartridges R Us in 2007.