SRDC NEWS

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TUBE FAB IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Late last year, the aerospace technology exporter began the process of consolidating five businesses into Summerside's industrial park. Although Tube-Fab won't be fully operational until this December, some machinery is in place so the company can begin making aircraft parts within the next few weeks. As Chairman and CEO Kirk Foley explained Wednesday, Tube-Fab will need the help of skilled Island workers sooner rather than later.

"We're inviting all Islanders to come and give us their résumés," he said "We need 109 people now, not next week, next year or next month - we need you now." A job fair for aspiring employees was held at the company's new Industrial Drive headquarters Wednesday afternoon, and was scheduled to continue on today. Between 80 and 90 jobs will be filled by workers recruited from this province, while the remainder will be skilled personnel from off-Island who will assist in training the new employees. Tube-Fab opened its doors Wednesday to give federal and provincial government officials, media and local business representatives a chance to tour the facility.

Last November, TFL Technologies of Cornwall, P.E.I., consolidated its precision machining operation with its sister company, Tube-Fab Ltd. of Toronto. The company exports its products to 42 countries worldwide. ACOA had earlier contributed $227,500 to the expansion, while the Province supported the project with a $1.2-million repayable loan. Foley said a total of five companies will reside in the new Summerside facility, producing everything from aerospace equipment and medical products to high-tech air filtration systems. "We're bringing businesses that are operational here to the Island - this is not a start-up operation. We're selling stuff already so it's a very, very busy time for us because this place has to be making parts in the next couple of weeks.

"Once the new plant is fully operational, said Foley, it will also serve to reduce costs for other Atlantic aerospace manufacturers by performing services like part inspections and X-rays here on the Island. "Today, everybody that makes a part on this Island has to send it to Montreal or Toronto, and you can imagine the frequent flyer points parts get as they wander around," he said. "As of December, this building will have a utility in it that will do all that work for Atlantic Canada."