Silliker Glass sees a bright future in P.E.I.
On Monday the Borden-Carleton based company announced plans to grow its glass-making business into a second facility in the town.
“We’ve been working on expanding since about January,” said Matt Silliker, the co-owner of G.E. Silliker and Sons Ltd.
“Adding a second facility will allow us to have a second tempering oven and produce soft coat low-e glass. We’re hoping to have it up and running by April.”
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency made a $400,000 repayable loan to the $5.5 million project, while the provincial government has government has made a $1,993,000 repayable contribution, up to $250,000 in labour rebates for up to 25 new jobs and a non-repayable $100,000 contribution to equip the facility.
“An investment like this will allow us to make products that we haven’t done before.”
An industrial building formerly owned by the Central Development Corporation, is 50,000 square feet with half of it being renovated for the manufacturing line.
It is on industrial drive near the Town Hall Chambers. More recently the facility house the Canada Revenue Agency’s file storage for the Summerside Tax Centre.
Gordon Coffin, chairman of the CDC, said it was an exciting day for rural P.E.I.
“It had housed a few businesses and we were looking for a new tenant. Silliker Glass proposed a plan for the space and the deed just closed on it last week.”
There was an incentive in the purchasing the property as well, said Coffin.
“There is a $5,000 back incentive for every full-time position they create after 18 months with up to $100,000. We’re hopeful this will be translated into 20 or 30 new workers.”
There are 32 people on payroll right now. Silliker Glass is looking to add 30 more with the new plant.
Earlier this year, the company was the recipient of a $300,000 McCain Adjustment Fund grant that provided assistance in purchasing new equipment.
The fund was set up when McCain closed their plant in Borden-Carleton in 2014 in hopes of helping the community’s sustainability in the future.
“It just goes to show what is possible. This company started out as a little operation in 1965 and now here we are expanding for the third time,” said Silliker.
Provincial Economic Development minister Heath MacDonald said it was important to react quickly to the niche market Silliker Glass has.
“They have a market and they are trying to expand it. They know the opportunity is right now.”
The big thing is the importance of developing rural P.E.I.
“That’s the big play, trying to sustain our communities in rural P.E.I. and our labour force. We need these positions to keep people in our province.”