The New Brunswick government will invest up to $125,000 in payroll rebates to maintain 25 jobs in the southwestern community of McAdam.
The funding will help Soleno Inc., a manufacturing company that produces high-density polyethylene resin pipes, said Premier David Alward.
"This investment will assist Soleno Inc. with a modernization project to seek new markets and maintain 25 skilled jobs in the region," Alward said in a statement.
Soleno, which manufactures storm drain pipes and fittings that are shipped throughout Atlantic Canada, needs to replace its assembly line to keep production going, said plant manager Rob Burtt.
"That would be a few less jobs in the town if we did not replace it," he said. "So it's a direct benefit for us to keep that equipment current, to be able to offer more products. It's going to enable us to protect these jobs that we have."
The payroll rebate with help preserve the existing 21 jobs and create four new ones, said Mayor Frank Carroll.
'You couldn't stress how important it is that in a small community like McAdam to be able to ensure that those who are presently working stay working and that you have an opportunity to increase the job numbers.'—McAdam Mayor Frank Carroll
"You couldn't stress how important it is that in a small community like McAdam to be able to ensure that those who are presently working stay working and that you have an opportunity to increase the job numbers," he said.
McAdam has been witnessing an ongoing exodus of its workers and some in the village have started keeping a register of names of people who have left to find work in Alberta’s Fort McMurray.
"We do have about 100 wage earners that are now in Fort McMurray, but on top of that we have a number of people who are commuting outside to work and we have a lot who are not working," Carroll said.
Tom Laking, who has worked at Soleno for the past 18 years, considers himself lucky. Without Soleno, Laking doubts he'd have work in McAdam.
"We're working here and getting fairly good money and only five minutes from home," he said.
The village of 1,284 people lost nearly 200 people — or 8.5 per cent of its population — between 2006 and 2011, according to the latest census.