Photo Gallery: Secretary Solis and Assistant Secretary Jane Oates Tour the Chesapeake Bay Candle Company
(January 10, 2012)
- From left to right: Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, Jane Oates; Mike Galiazzo, executive director of the Regional Manufacturing Institute; Mei Xu, owner and president of the Chesapeake Candle Company; and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis upon arrival at the Chesapeake Candle Company's manufacturing facility in Glen Burnie, MD.
- Secretary Solis samples one of the many candle products made by Chesapeake Bay Candle as Mei Xu explains the quality assurance program conducted on site.
- Assistant Secretary Jane Oates and Secretary Solis look on as Karl Martin, manager of Quality & Compliance, and Lab Technician Rongjun Huang discuss how the company develops new aromas and carefully mixes dyes to ensure a quality product.
- In the burn testing lab candles are closely monitored to ensure that they burn safely and meet stringent quality controls.
- On the shop floor, Marcus Brooks, the company's quality assurance & control supervisor, demonstrates a color quality test to ensure the poured wax for the Lemon Meringue scented candles is just the right shade of yellow.
- Mei Xu and Secretary Solis take a peek inside one of the many mixing containers, where the waxes, scents and dyes are carefully combined.
- Secretary Solis inspects some of the many ceramic jar candles as they come off the production line.
- The 125,000 square foot facility opened in June, 2011 is the company's first manufacturing plant based in the United States. The plant has 35 employees currently, with plans to expand to 100 within the first 12 months.
- In a room designed to tell the 17 year history of the company, Secretary Solis reads about how a custom candle produced by the company was among the gifts presented by First Lady Michelle Obama to visiting foreign dignitaries on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly
- Secretary Solis looks at some of the company's latest prouducts which use a silk-screening process to add color to the outside of the candles. Mei Xu and her husband David Wang made the company's first candles by hand in the basement of their Annapolis, MD home. Now, Chesapeake Bay Candles are available in Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Target, Kohl's, Hallmark and other retailers around the country and around the world.