UPDATE: Lifetouch adding nearly 100 jobs at Galion plant
By Sarah Einselen
Lifetouch Church Directories and Portraits announced today, Feb. 17, that it would be adding almost 100 jobs to its photography lab and printing facility in Galion. The new positions effectively double the plant’s production output, according to a Lifetouch press release.
The jobs will be permanent, full-time positions as part of the Lifetouch core staff, which at present numbers about 145. The core is augmented during peak months by up to 75 seasonal workers.
The city will not receive additional income tax from the jobs, unless those hired live in Galion, since the Lifetouch plant sits just north of the city limits. Nevertheless the expansion should help improve the area’s unemployment figures, according to local economic development representatives.
“I think it’s great for the entire area,” said Joe Kleinknecht, president and CEO of the Galion Area Chamber of Commerce. “You know, they’re a good company, they’re trying to expand and I think we as a community need to do everything we can to support them.”
“As a 100 percent employee-owned company,” said Bill Calpus, president and COO of Lifetouch, “the addition of some 100 positions will bring the total number of Lifetouch employee-owners in the state of Ohio to well over 1,000. It’s not every industry that can make such a positive impact on its communities.”
The company does not plan to expand its physical facility, according to Lifetouch plant spokesperson Mary Emerick. The additional jobs come as a result of the company’s buyout of Olan Mills in November of last year.
The majority of the jobs will be in production, where new employees will be trained in-house, Emerick said. Employees will be entitled to the company’s regular full benefits package. Applicants will undergo normal pre-employment testing.
“Lifetouch is committed to its facility in Galion and is excited to add these jobs to our employee-owned company,” said Mitch Bauer, Lifetouch senior director of production. “The local support and quality workforce in Galion make this community a great home for Lifetouch.”
The Lifetouch printing facility and photography lab in Galion carries out portrait printing and prepress operations for portrait directories. Lifetouch moved into the facility in 1995 when it acquired United Photographic Industries.
The additional jobs planned in Galion are similar to jobs that are soon to be cut at two Olan Mills plants in Chattanooga, Tenn., when closure of those facilities is completed. According to AP reports, Lifetouch announced two weeks ago that it would cut 383 jobs at those two plants, but would keep operating a Lifetouch plant in Chattanooga that had been acquired from Olan Mills in 1999.