Gov. LePage touts investment at Augusta print shop

J.S. McCarthy Printers in Augusta recently installed a new, 85-foot long printing press, a new piece of technology that company officials say will keep the business current and lead to more jobs.

According to a Tuesday release from Gov. Paul LePage’s office, the printer has offices in Portland, Boston, Hartford, Conn., and New York, with 175 employees, most of who are based in Augusta. The company hired 15 people last year, and expects to hire 10 this year, according to the release.

“By staying two steps ahead with our technology and focusing upon lean manufacturing principles we have become a leading U.S. printer experiencing our three most successful years during this recession,” said Rick Tardiff, J.S. McCarthy president, in the release.

Company sales reached $23 million in 2010, $30 million in 2011 and are expected to top $35 million this year. The company prints everything from corporate annual reports, college publications, greeting cards, folding cartons for food and other products, ad agency work, high end real estate products for New York City clients, and products for the cosmetics and fashion industries, the release said.

“Not only does this machine propel this small Maine company into the limelight of world printing companies, it also shows how innovative management and highly-skilled Maine workers can grow high-tech manufacturing right here into a world class operation,” said LePage.

The new Japanese printing press can simultaneously print both sides of a 28-inch by 40-inch sheet of paper in less than a quarter of a second.
The printer relies exclusively on wind power for electricity, according to the release, and recycles 140 tons of waste paper a month. The company is often selected by manufacturers to test and help perfect new equipment, the release said.

“We have replaced 16 printing presses with three new Komori units and are hugely committed to this excellent relationship with our manufacturers,” Tardiff said.

The news is a bright spot for the printing sector, which has seen its ups and downs recently. Last week, it was announced that Waterville-based Atkins Printing Service will close later this month after 102 years in business, putting nine people out of work.