Make us your home page

Valpak cutting 79 jobs in Largo, St. Petersburg

Valpak, which has direct-mail operations in Largo and St. Petersburg, employs about 1,300 people in Pinellas County. Layoffs target 6 percent of its work force.


Valpak, which has direct-mail operations in Largo and St. Petersburg, employs about 1,300 people in Pinellas County. Layoffs target 6 percent of its work force.

Valpak, the Largo direct-mail operator best known for its ubiquitous blue envelopes, is cutting 79 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force.

And with sluggish demand forecast for next year, the company acknowledged it may have to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and local tax incentives connected with building its $220-million printing facility in St. Petersburg.

Valpak is ending the second of six years in a tax-rebate program worth $610,000. To keep receiving rebate checks, it must retain 1,000 jobs, at least 100 of them newly created. The job cuts revealed Wednesday will bring its area staffing to about 1,300 in St. Petersburg and Largo.

Valpak spokeswoman Marsha Strickhouser said the company hopes to qualify for the rebates next year, "but it's uncertain. … We really don't know what's going to happen in this next year. How will the economy go?"

Last month, Valpak received its first tax rebate of $37,125. For keeping its required work force levels during 2008, it expects to qualify for another rebate next year, this one for $74,250.

The company said it remains profitable, but job cuts — across all levels — were necessary because it felt the same market pressures as other advertising companies and those in the direct marketing industry.

"This was a very difficult decision for us, but given the economic forecast, it is necessary to ensure Valpak performs well during this current recession," said Greg Bicket, Valpak's chief executive.

Employees are being offered severance packages that range from eight weeks to a maximum of 52 weeks of pay, along with career-transition services. Career counselors were available Wednesday.

Cox Enterprises Inc., Valpak's parent company, has been seeking a buyer for the Valpak operation.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington or (727) 893-8242.

Valpak cutting 79 jobs in Largo, St. Petersburg 12/17/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. To catch a poacher: Florida wildlife officers set up undercover gator farm sting


    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, state wildlife officers created the ultimate undercover operation.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  2. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill


    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.
  3. Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance


    Tens of thousands of homeowners who were pushed out of Citizens Property Insurance for a private carrier since 2014 are finding themselves changing insurance companies yet again.

  4. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows


    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  5. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.