A COMPANY unveiled plans to create up to 500 jobs in the next five years as it opened a £1m contact centre.
Commercial laundry specialist JLA Group said the new centre at its head office in Ripponden would support ambitious plans to double in size in just five years.
The facility, which was opened by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, will house 60 sales staff.
JLA has also introduced an apprenticeship scheme, under which the firm will provide engineering training to a number of local young people.
JLA chief executive Stephen Baxter said: “JLA is going from strength to strength, despite the difficult economic backdrop.
“We are growing and investing, but it will be people that provide us with the competitive edge.”
JLA supplies and services commercial laundry and dishwashing equipment to hospitals, care homes, hotels, universities and prisons.
JLA has also spent four years and £5m developing OTEX, a cold-water laundry disinfection system that is helping to drive down costs and infection rates.
And the company is also carrying out research and development of new products and services to benefit new and existing customers.
JLA was formed by Yorkshire businessman John Laithwaite in 1973 and was bought by UK investor HgCapital in 2010.
Now the company is recruiting people to work in engineering, sales and marketing – and expects to continue recruiting as the company grows.
MP Craig Whittaker said: “I was delighted and honoured to have been asked to open this new contact centre in the Calder Valley.
“I am extremely encouraged that this will not only create local career opportunities, but will also provide our young people with the opportunity of carrying out apprenticeships.”