MASON CITY | Starting Monday, Feb. 12, North Iowa Media Group's publications will be printed at Gannett Publishing Services in Des Moines.

Publisher Roy Biondi attributed the decision to the labor pool shortage in the area and a cost-prohibitive capital investment that would be required to meet the demands of today's advertising and subscriber customers.

"This will enhance the printing quality that comes with using a larger press," Biondi said. "This will allow us more opportunities at packaging our products with inserts, special sections and more color pages."

Last month, the Globe Gazette reported more than 1,000 available jobs in Cerro Gordo County. The county's unemployment rate has remained below 3 percent since October, its lowest for that period of time since 2000, according to the Iowa Department of Workforce Development.

Biondi also praised the work of Press Room Manager Rob Curley and Distribution Supervisor Salena Williams.

Most of the affected employees, about a dozen, are part-time workers. Those who qualify will receive severance packages.

The first editions printed in Des Moines for the Globe Gazette, Mitchell County Press-News and The Summit-Tribune serving Britt and Forest City will be distributed Tuesday, Feb. 13.