Wallkill is a hamlet (and census-designated place), generally identified as coterminous with ZIP code 12589, telephone exchange 895 in the 845 area code and most of the Wallkill Central School District located mostly in the eastern half of the Town of Shawangunk, Ulster County, New York but partly spilling over into adjacent regions of the Orange County towns of Newburgh and Montgomery. The population was 2,143 at the 2000 census.
The community is in the Town of Shawangunk. Residents affectionately refer to the town by its unofficial nickname "The Kill". The Wallkill Correctional Facility and Shawangunk Correctional Facility are located in Wallkill. The hamlet's attractions include the Original Borden Farm (namesake for the area's middle school), the Wallkill River, the Magnanini Winery and its proximity to the Shawangunk Mountains.
Wallkill is also a destination for international visitors to Watchtower Farms, which draws tens of thousands each year to a free guided tour of its printery. The Watchtower Society (a legal entity of Jehovah's Witnesses) has operated the facility since 1963, initially to produce food cost-effectively for volunteer workers at its offices and printeries in Brooklyn, New York. Some printing of Awake! and The Watchtower began at Wallkill in 1973, and by 2004 their entire United States printing operation was shifted from Brooklyn to an expanded Wallkill printery. The Watchtower printery at Wallkill is considered an example in automated printing, binding, and packaging. Aside from those run for the federal government, Watchtower's Wallkill plant is the largest in-plant printing operation in the United States.
Wallkill is located at .(41.607160, -74.173932)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km²), all land.
The Wallkill River flows north past the hamlet.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,143 people, 788 households, and 556 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 697.3 per square mile (269.5/km²). There were 825 housing units at an average density of 268.5/sq mi (103.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.01% White, 2.19% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.98% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.15% of the population.
There were 788 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $47,604, and the median income for a family was $58,704. Males had a median income of $44,792 versus $26,786 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,258. About 3.6% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
At the request of Watchtower, Muller Martini has designed a very "tour-friendly" layout of the machinery for efficient "visitor management". Every year, the plant, which is based in Wallkill, about two hours from New York, welcomes 50,000 visitors.
All printing, binding, and shipping operations in the United States were consolidated at Wallkill, New York, during 2004. The general plan and concept were presented to the town planning board on August 6, 2002. A public hearing was held on September 3, after which final approval was granted. At the annual meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania on October 5, 2002, an announcement was made that the Governing Body had approved the consolidation at Wallkill. Two new MAN Roland Lithoman rotary presses were ordered, and the additional building to house them was scheduled to be ready by February 2004. How could this mammoth project be accomplished in just 14 months? [...] Site work commenced in February 2003, and the addition to the printery was ready by September. The first of three existing presses at Wallkill was dismantled and relocated to the new extension in December. The two new presses arrived in April and May 2004 and began production in June and July. All five presses were fully operational by September. Previously, the bindery occupied 11 floors in three buildings of the Adams Street complex in Brooklyn. Now the entire bindery is located on one floor at Wallkill and occupies 58 percent less space. Paperback bookbinding began in July 2004. Later that month, the first hardcover books came off the new bindery line, which is over a quarter of a mile [400 m] long and consists of 33 machines connected by 70 conveyors. Book parts are handled just once, at the start of the line. Running at 120 books per minute, the hardcover line requires only 25 operators—a 66 percent reduction in personnel. The entire bindery became fully operational in October 2004. As of November 2004, the new Wallkill Shipping Department has been processing congregation literature requests by means of a new computerized system that occupies 45 percent less space than its predecessor in Brooklyn. Computers calculate the size of the shipment and select the appropriate carton. A half-mile-long [800 m] conveyor transports each order to a special platform where consignments are prepared for shipment. A drive-through area gives local congregations convenient access to pick up their orders.
[The Wallkill plan] also uses a control system, allowing operators to view the current status of the complete production line at any time on a central control console and to intervene where necessary. Should a malfunction occur at any point in the line, the control system automatically compensates the speed of all active assemblies accordingly. This means the entire hardcover system is always able to produce at the maximum possible performance rate. [...] Therefore, anyone who is interested in upgrading their book manufacturing system should definitely plan a visit to this attractive, highly-efficient production facility.
From a mezzanine, the visitors gazed down upon a maze of machinery. Five massive presses spread over a polished concrete floor larger than nine football fields. It is here that Bibles, books, and magazines are printed. Huge rolls of paper, weighing 3,800 pounds [1,700 kg] each, spin like the wheels of a fast-moving truck. Each 14-mile [23 km] roll of paper unwinds and passes through the press in just 25 minutes. In that time, the press applies and dries the ink and cools the paper so that it can be folded into magazines that speed along overhead conveyors to be boxed and shipped to congregations. Other presses are busy printing book signatures, which are swiftly moved to a floor-to-ceiling storage area until they are sent to the bindery. The operation is a computer-directed symphony of precise movements. Leaving the pressroom, the visitors toured the bindery. Here machines produce hardcover books and deluxe Bibles at a rate of up to 50,000 copies per day. Book signatures are collated, bound, and trimmed. Covers are then attached. Cartons are slipped over stacks of finished books. The cartons are automatically sealed, labeled, and stacked on a pallet. Additionally, a paperback-book line assembles and packs as many as 100,000 books per day. This too is a world of machinery—countless motors, conveyors, gears, wheels, and belts—all moving at astounding speed to produce Bible literature. Operating with the precision of a well-made watch, the printery’s high-speed, state-of-the-art machinery is a marvel of modern technology.