"Your Story Made Here": Our Sunday Visitor (VIDEO)

By Melissa Long - 21Alive

February 26, 2014 Updated Feb 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON (21Alive) -- Our Sunday Visitor began as a weekly publication but it's Huntington operation now has an international footprint encompassing a 240 thousand square foot building with 260 employees on site and 140 others in 17 other states. There are two divisions, the offertory solutions division and the publication division.

Greg Erlandson, head of the Publishing Division says they produce 7 publications, about 50 books a year, with 1700 titles, parish resources and curricula that they distribute all over the country and truthfully around the world. If you go into the bookstore near the vatican, you'll find stacks of their books...in that bookstore.

Helping catholics see the world through the eyes of faith takes a lot of talented individuals. There are people with editorial skills, marketing skills, editing skills, and design skills...and that's just in the publishing division. There are also three shifts of line workers who produce 605 million church offering envelopes for 22 thousand churches across the country. They also supply the envelopes to us military bases around the world. These workers operate hi-tech machines that churn out 27 envelopes a second, 2 and a half million of them a day. The facility has a detached mail unit of the USPS, because their output would overwhelm the Huntington post office.

Kyle Hamilton is the head of the Offeratory Solutions Division says: "We're mailing something like 370 million offering envelopes annually to about 3-31/2 million households. We have a phenomenal maintenance staff that does a lot of electronic work in sensors and controls."

All of these envelopes need to be grouped, addressed, and numbered. This facility is by far the largest manufacturer of offering envelopes in the country. The company hires bright energetic people, about 25 to 30 of them a year.

Hamilton says: "We're willing to train people. we believe very highly in training. we are doing everything from lead manufacturing to vocational training, cross-functional teams, technical training, accreditations, obviously in the information technology side of the business."

As a non-profit operation..."Our Sunday Visitor" not only makes the envelopes....it helps to fill them. The OSV Institute channels money back into the church. Says Erlandson, "the money is given to catholic operations and organizations all across the country...so we fund many things in this diocese, but also the bishops conference, different organizations, retreats, you name it. we have probably funded it at some point.. to the tune of 2 1/2 to 3 million dollars a year. this impressive operation sprang from the vision of Father Noll and it has remained true to that vision to this day...more than 100 years later." He continued: "That sense that this is really important stuff that we're involved in....about building up families, about educating people about the issues of the day...... I love that. We are very much mindful after our 100th anniversary of how much we owe to him and how much we are following in his footsteps."
A century old story, that is still made here.




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