The federal and provincial governments offered $2.25 million to Moncton’s Apex Industries Inc. on Thursday to bolster the manufacturing company’s presence in the aerospace and defence sector.

The federal government offered a repayable loan worth $1.5 million and the province anted up another $750,000 that will be spent on a productivity improvement project.

"Today's announcement focuses on one of the fastest growing sectors in Atlantic Canada," said Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Gail Shea.

"Diverse and dynamic, the aerospace and defence industry is a major driver of our economy," she said.

Maintain and create jobs

Premier David Alward said the provincial funding will help maintain and create jobs in New Brunswick's aerospace and defence sector.

"The first is an interest-bearing loan of $500,000," said Alward. "The second is through a wage program, which actually, the monies aren't dispersed until the jobs are created."

There are about 90 people who work in the company’s aerospace division and about 250 employees overall. The premier said current jobs will be maintained and there's a possibility of 17 more jobs, with even more down the road.

The money is being used to purchase a Palletech machine, which runs nights and weekends and increases productivity.

Keith Parlee, the company’s chief executive officer, said it has taken 20 years to build the company's reputation and it's now paying off.

"Bell, Bombardier, two of our large customers in this sector. We've been doing quite a bit of work for Boeing Defence and have some new contracts coming forward and we're also talking to Lougheed Martin and looking at a contract on the F-35 so the parts can go into a variety of aircraft and we've had a lot of success and our parts are on every Bell helicopter," he said.

The company has been able to recruit highly-skilled workers to its Moncton facility, said Parlee.

"Over the years, we have continued to invest in a highly-skilled workforce, have added high-end machinery, and have worked diligently to advance through process improvements," he said in a statement.