Local employee-owned manufacturing company announces wage increases to support greater product demand

2018 file photo from ribbon-cutting ceremony for Litehouse Foods Hurricane facility expansion project, Sept. 19, 2018, Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

HURRICANE — Litehouse, a local company known for its line of refrigerated salad dressings, recently held its annual shareholder meeting to review 2020 performance with its 1,100-plus employee owners across its four manufacturing locations, including at its Hurricane facility in Southern Utah.

Employees from Litehouse Foods factory in Hurricane, Utah, circa 2019 | Photo courtesy of Litehouse Foods, St. George News

“Based on strong performance of its retail business the company saw a nearly 10 percent increase in gross sales and its share price increased nearly 19 percent over the previous year,” Litehouse said in a press release.

Litehouse said its increased performance has continued in 2021 as the company sees record demand for its products. To support this increased demand, the company recently announced wage increases for its hourly workforce across all locations in order to reward current employees and attract talent to fill open positions.

With these recent wage adjustments, Litehouse is offering entry-level line attendant positions starting wages of $17-$20 per hour, along with benefits. Machine operator and forklift driver positions start at higher wages.

Company representatives say their structure as an employee-owned company is a strategic advantage when hiring. Litehouse first formed its employee stock ownership plan in 2006, selling 30% of the company to its employees, and in December 2014, it became 100% employee-owned.

According to Certified EO, a national certification program for employee-owned companies, employees working for an employee-owned company have more than twice the average total retirement balance of Americans nationally.

Litehouse Foods products, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Litehouse Foods, St. George News

“We understand that not everyone thinks about their retirement when accepting a position at Litehouse,” Kelly Prior, president and CEO of Litehouse, said in the press release. “However, we know that in today’s economy, everybody can use a retirement fund when that time comes in their career.”

Prior added that all of their employee-owners who have been with the company since the start of the employee stock ownership plan in 2006 now have six figure account balances.

“The ESOP benefit is truly a gift from our founders that will provide so many with a retirement fund that they could not have saved on their own,” Prior said.

The company says it shares its success with its four local communities in Idaho, Michigan, Utah and Virginia. Over the last year, Litehouse contributed over $500,000 to organizations such as local food banks, churches, youth sporting events and numerous other nonprofit organizations.

More information about applying to work at Litehouse can be found at the company’s website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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