By Todd Nelson
Like many printers, Chippewa Graphics lost business in the recession, which only added to the challenges posed by the industry's longer-term transformation from higher-margin craft to cut-rate commodity. The company cut jobs and reduced pay for remaining employees.
But Chippewa Graphics has rebounded, posting profits in the past two years. Pay cuts have been restored as the company worked to transform itself from an ink-and-paper based printer to a print marketing services company.
To that end, Chippewa Graphics has brought in a new $860,000 offset press that will improve productivity and lower costs while offering new services to clients in new markets, such as printing packaging and inserts for pharmaceutical companies.
Below: "Randy Blackorbay, president of Chippewa Graphics and Skyblue Graphic Services, and Robert Blackorbay, general manager, in their plant in New Hope. The younger Blackorbay is in a three-year leadership development program that is part of the company’s transition plan." (Joel Koyama/Star Tribune)