gets $200,000 equipment upgrade
By Cole Hobson, Times & Transcript Staff
Moncton success story has blossomed from a two-man operation into a 55-employee business.
Al-Pack got a financial windfall from the province yesterday, as Business New Brunswick Minister Greg Byrne announced a significant provincial backing of the green company to create 10 new jobs and upgrade its equipment.
"We are proud to partner with a New Brunswick green-focused manufacturer as it grows its operation in Moncton," Byrne said. "We have committed to a goal of making New Brunswick self-sufficient by 2026. By partnering with companies such as AI-Pack as they purchase new equipment and become more efficient, we will ensure the success of that goal."
Business N.B. Minister Greg Byrne chats with Louis LeBlanc
Vernon Allen, owners of Al-Pack at a job announcement
yesterday at the Caledonia Industrial Park facility.
|Byrne announced $8,000 will be provided for each of
the 10 news jobs in a forgivable loan, while the company will also
be provided with a $200,000 forgivable loan to help with building
construction costs and to purchase new equipment. Also in
attendance at the announcement were Moncton East MLA Chris Collins
and outgoing Mayor Lome Mitton.
For Al-Pack co-owners Vernon Allen and Louis LeBlanc, the upgrade was much needed, but not something they anticipated would happen when the company began as a distributor of packaging supplies and services 13 years ago.
"When Louis and I started AL-PACK in 1995 in the front room of my house, we could only dream of a day when we could stand in our own building and announce the purchase of new equipment and the creation of new jobs," Allen said.
Al-Pack switched their modus operandi in 1999 when the province's wet-dry waste separation program began and they now produce and distribute packaging supplies including recycling bags and biodegradable bags for compost programs. AI-Pack will also develop and commercialize new starch-based, biodegradable materials to be used in shopping bags, compost bags and food packaging.
Allen said when the company began, bags were packed by hand as compared to the new machinery, which, thanks to the government support, will pack a new bag every six seconds. What started as a two-man operation is now a 55-employee operation at Moncton location and the province investment is expected to not only add to the company's employees, but also to increase productivity and lower operating costs.
Allen said the 10 new positions have yet to be filled and they will be in both operations for those with mechanical backgrounds and familiarity operating machinery and in office work for those who will need to provide customer service, merchandising skills and deal with international sales. The new equipment is expected to arrive and be fully operational sometime in the fall and will increase production by about 30 per cent.
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