About 400 people were in attendance Tuesday for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating a multi-million dollar expansion at the Candle-lite plant in Leesburg.
According to a press release, the expansion came about as a result of a merger last May between Candle-lite and Massachusetts-based PartyLite, creating Luminex Home Decor and Fragrance, based in Cincinnati.
In the past year, Luminex has invested $12 million in the Leesburg facility to accommodate the transfer of PartyLite’s manufacturing operations from Batavia, Ill., to the Leesburg facility, adding 92,000 square feet to the plant’s 1-million-square-foot floor space, according to the release.
A laboratory and analytical area was also expanded, the release said.
Another $1.5 million is expected to be spent by the end of this year, according to the release.
Local officials, businessmen and state-level representatives were on hand at the event, including Highland County Commissioner Jeff Duncan, Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera, Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings, Leesburg Mayor Fred Snyder, Jeff Cloud of Southern Hills Bank, Evan Webb of Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger’s office, Andrew McAfee of Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup’s office and many more.
A majority of Candle-lite employees were also in attendance.
Luminex CEO Calvin Johnston thanked various company representatives for their part in the expansion, and said more positive changes are coming to the plant in the near future.
“It’s an exciting day,” he said.
Judy Proto, human resources and safety manager for Candle-lite, told The Times-Gazette she’s not sure how many people will be hired as a direct result of the expansion, but she anticipates hiring will increase within the next year.
A press release said full-time employment at the plant has increased by 26 percent from the same time last year.
Candle-lite is currently hiring full-time employees. For a complete job listing, visit candlelite.applicantpro.com/jobs.
According to a release, Candle-lite, founded in Cincinnati in 1840, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of candles and home fragrance products for the mass merchant, food and drug retail outlets in the United States. Its customers include Walmart and Kroger.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.