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Ontario Invests in Welland and St. Catharines Manufacturers to Boost Regional Economy

Welland – The Ontario government is supporting an investment of $53.2 million by two companies in Southwestern Ontario to help strengthen domestic manufacturing, create jobs, attract investment and boost regional economic recovery. Combined, the province is investing more than $4.9 million in the local steel manufacturing and agriculture sectors through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 45 new jobs.

“The manufacturing and horticultural sectors are key economic drivers in Niagara, and I am happy to see the province investing in both local sectors today,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“Minister Fedeli is a tireless advocate of the Ontario spirit. The important investments today in Valbruna ASW in Welland and Quick Plug in St. Catharines will lead to good-paying jobs and long-term regional prosperity.”

“Our government is proud to support local manufacturers across the province, allowing companies to create good, local jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“We look forward to seeing more of these kinds of private-sector investments that are creating the conditions for long-term regional economic growth. We thank Valbruna ASW and Quick Plug for contributing to our province’s vibrant steel and agricultural sectors and for contributing to our province’s dynamic and growing manufacturing sector and economic recovery.”

Valbruna ASW is Canada’s only manufacturer of specialty steel products, including carbon, alloy and stainless steel. The company is investing $50 million in new innovative equipment and facility upgrades. With Ontario’s investment of more than $4.4 million from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Valbruna ASW will create 15 jobs. With this investment, the company expects to be the first in Canada to produce hi-nickel alloys and other specialty steels, which will help to expand product offerings and boost sales.

“This investment is strategic to the future of Valbruna ASW, our current and future employees, our customers and suppliers and our community partners,” said Tim Clutterbuck, President of Valbruna ASW.

“As Ontario’s, in fact Canada’s, only specialty steel producer, uniquely capable of refining high quality stainless steels, we are grateful for the support and recognition of the provincial government under Premier Ford and Minister Fedeli through the Regional Development Program. We are excited to undertake this project, which will improve our efficiency and productivity as well as reduce our environmental footprint.”

Quick Plug engineers and manufactures a variety of peat plug products for professional growers, including traditional greenhouses and hydroponic growers. The company is investing $3.2 million to centralize its North American production facility in St. Catharines. Quick Plug will modify the current facility, as well as purchase new equipment and machinery to build a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing line. With Ontario’s investment of $480,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, the company will create 30 jobs. With this investment, Quick Plug also plans to build a new research and development center in the facility.

“Quick Plug would like to thank the Government of Ontario for the support provided through the Regional Development Program. We will use these funds to not only improve our existing processes, but to invest in automation and newer technologies,” said Bill Maartense, Managing Director of Quick Plug.

“These investments will help us be a safe and productive employer that provides good local jobs for many years to come.”

Ontario is investing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges and boost the province’s economic recovery. The program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create good, local jobs.