An expansion project that will see the addition of a third shift and 113 new jobs in Leesburg was announced Thursday by Candle-lite.
”Earlier this year, a strong increase in demand prompted the company to take growth action,” Candle-lite said in a news release. “Ohio’s logistical network and strong workforce has made the Leesburg location an efficient and productive facility for Candle-lite.”
Adding a third shift to manufacture its candle products, Candle-lite will add 113 full-time employees and an investment of $3,297,480 in the facility, the news release said.
Currently, Candle-lite has 535 full-time employees and is the largest private sector employer in Highland County, according to the news release.
“Candle-lite products have a long history associated with Leesburg and I am glad to have worked with the company to expand its operations through JobsOhio funds,” said Taylor Stepp, OhioSE project manager. “Highland County is a proven manufacturing location and possesses a high-quality workforce with strong work ethic.”
The project is being assisted with a $130,000 JobsOhio Workforce Development Grant that will help train employees in maintenance, product knowledge and quality and technical skills.
“The growth of Candle-lite during its 180 years in Ohio, the last 68 years in Leesburg, has been truly remarkable,” said Nicole Oberrecht with Highland County Economic Development. “This company is a highly-valued corporate citizen, and with this expansion it is renewing its long-standing commitment to Highland County. We congratulate them on their newest announcement and the creation of new jobs.”
In 2016, Candle-lite announced a nearly $12 million investment in the Leesburg facility, adding new production equipment, leasehold improvements and 50 new full-time jobs over the next three years.
“We’re pleased by the business growth and the demand to significantly increase our staff,” said Jason Stevens, general manager of plant operations for Candle-lite. “By adding an additional shift to the facility, we will be able to scale up production, which will ultimately escalate productivity and reduce the need for weekend overtime. This is a real win-win for our business model, current employees, our new hires, and ultimately the community of Leesburg.”
Candle-lite is the largest candle supplier to food, drug and mass merchant retailers in the United States and is also America’s oldest candle manufacturer, the news release said.
“We’re excited to see how the growth of our company is impacting not only our business and our employees, but also the Leesburg economy for the better,” said Calvin Johnston, chief executive officer, Luminex HD&F. “The added shift not only positively affects current employees’ job satisfaction, but will also lift the community of Leesburg by providing new and stable job opportunities and the possibility of further career advancement.”
The Candle-lite Company LLC, is a subsidy of Luminex HD&F.
Heather Church, OhioSE director of marketing and communication, said Candle-lite officials told her the Leesburg facility is recruiting, filling and hiring for its expansion to three shifts. The officials said the additional 113 full-time employees, when the expansion is complete, is up from an earlier number due an increase in demand related to the COVID-19 suspension of operations. They said the target date to have those employees in place is the end of June.
Interested applicants should visit https://candlelite.applicantpro.com/jobs/ for a complete job listing or email [email protected]
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.