Outreach Inc., a marketing firm catering to churches that plans to move its headquarters to Colorado Springs from the San Diego area, expects to grow to 160 employees within five years of the June 2012 move, a company official said Monday.

Outreach will move about 50 executives and other employees to the Springs from California, hire another 70 locally during the next 1½ years and recruit another 40 employees by mid-2017, said Scott Evans, the company’s founder, president and CEO. The group is looking to buy or lease about 60,000 square feet of office, warehouse and industrial space in the Springs area to house its headquarters, printing and shipping operations, he said.

“We chose Colorado Springs because we believe it will provide the perfect environment for us to further our mission of helping churches and Christians share God’s love around the world,” Evans said during a press conference at the Antlers Hilton hosted by the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp. announcing the move. “We believe that Colorado Springs is a city blessed by God, and we look forward to our future with you.”

The for-profit company, which gives away at least 10 percent of its profits every year to charity, hopes to incorporate local nonprofit groups into its corporate giving, Evans said. Outreach supports Green Oak Ranch, a Christian ministry that operates a drug- and alcohol-abuse recovery program in Vista, Calif., where Outreach is now based, both financially and by hiring graduates from the program, he said.

“I believe that the beauty of Colorado Springs reflects the glory of God,” Evans said. “Wherever you look, you see God. People in the faith community (in the Springs) have been working with the city to keep community centers open. I love that there is a great sense of peace, partnership and faith here.”

Evans said Outreach looked at Colorado Springs and several other cities as it searched for a new home, “but it became apparent very quickly that with more than 200 faith-based organizations based here,” the choice was obvious. The company wanted to leave California because it was having trouble recruiting staff to the San Diego area because of its high cost of living. It selected the Springs because of its low cost of living and other factors, including a central location to ship materials to clients and the availability of a highly qualified work force.

“This is an important win for Colorado Springs — a corporate headquarters for an excellent company. Attracting headquarters continues to be challenging, but it is a major focus of EDC,” said Doug Quimby, EDC’s chairman and president of La Plata Communities.

Outreach plans to open a satellite office during the next few months and add local employees as jobs become open in California, and move into permanent offices in June 2012, Evans said.

The company plans to hire sales, customer service, printing, publishing, Web development and graphic design employees locally and will pay an average wage that is 20 percent higher than El Paso County’s average wage of $42,172, he said.

Outreach has helped more than 60,000 churches worldwide distribute more than 500 million invitations to potential members and sells banners, bulletin covers and other resources for Christian churches. The company, owned by Evans and his wife, Susan, also publishes a magazine called “Outreach,” operates several church-related websites and helps promote Christian-themed films such as “The Passion of The Christ” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

For an earlier story on Outreach's move to the Springs, go here.

Contact the writer at 636-0234.