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Hartland's Craig Manufacturing expanding, hiring more workers

The N.B. manufacturing company is celebrating its latest expansion and is now actively searching for welders and engineers to fill new positions. The company already builds heavy equipment that ships across North America and as far away as Sweden.

Heavy equipment manufacturer looking to hire 30

The Craig Manufacturing Plant in Hartland is now around 108,000 square feet after its latest expansion. It is one of three major plants owned by Craig Manufacturing in Canada. The Hartland plant is the largest. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Hartland's Craig Manufacturing is expanding and has already started hiring more workers.  

The heavy equipment manufacturer said it's completed a 25,000 square foot addition to its plant that will result in at least 30 new jobs.  

"We're hiring now," said Ben Craig, president of Craig Manufacturing. "We have immediate openings for welders and also for CETs, which would be like an engineering technologist capable of designing with 3D CAD." 

"We're very excited to have this next phase of our business officially underway now," said Craig.

The expansion saw the company add a series of 30-tonne cranes and 15 additional welding bays in order to expand orders on heavy construction equipment and snow plowing machinery.

Craig said the expansion represents a victory for the province. 
Ben Craig, the third generation president of Craig Manufacturing, says he's proud to have the ability to offer more jobs to keep people in New Brunswick. (Craig Manufacturing Website)
    

"We're currently working on an order that's going to ship to Sweden and so we think it's very cool to have New Brunswick-made products being exported not only across North America but other parts of the world," said Craig. 

"We hope to create 30 good jobs that will allow people to remain in Carleton County and live a good life here. "

Tender controversy 

Craig Manufacturing found itself at the centre of a controversy last year when the New Brunswick government gave a snow plow manufacturing contract worth about $500,000 to Les Produits Métalliques, a Quebec company that bid just $1,600 less. 

Public backlash over officials sending the contact out of the province for a perceived savings of $1,600 led the government to cancel the tender outright.

It was believed the cost of sending inspectors to Quebec, and delivery of the order would have cost the New Brunswick government much more in the long term. 

Craig Manufacturing has been building equipment such as heavy construction machinery and slow plow units since the 1940's. The company is expanding its operations and hiring at least 30 new workers. (Craig Manufacturing Website)
"We respectfully didn't agree with that government's specific decision on that specific issue," said Craig. "We do feel that the total cost of a tender needs to be considered." 

Government has not since reissued the order for the 27 snow plows and 30 plow wings.

After Transportation Minister Roger Melanson announced the cancellation of the snow plow tender, the president of Les Produits Métalliques, Andre Tremblay, stated that he would be consulting with lawyers about the cancellation.  

CBC News contacted André Tremblay, president of Les Produits Métalliques in February about any planned legal action against the province.

He responded by saying that "something would be filed in the weeks to come."  

According to the Court of Queens Bench in Fredericton nothing has yet been filed against the province by Les Produits Métalliques.

70-year New Brunswick history

Craig said that despite the controversy over the snow plow tender, he is proud of what his family's company has accomplished in New Brunswick over its 70-year history.

"It really hit me up on the podium when we were announcing the expansion today," said Craig. "I've basically doing the same job that my grandfather and my father have done and getting to announce expansions and growing the company, and a chance to put my mark on the company."

"I just hope I don't screw it up too badly." 

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.

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