The mayor of the Town of Pictou is hopeful new jobs at the Michelin Tire plant in Granton will allow some young people to put down roots in the area.
This week Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. announced it will create 70 to 90 temporary and contract jobs at the Granton plant to respond to the growing demand for winter tires.
- Michelin to increase winter tire production at Pictou County plant
- Michelin Development Fund cushions blow of job loss in northern Nova Scotia
The company says the positions will be filled by current employees, retirees and contractors.
Mayor Joe Hawes says he's "elated" about the news and the timing couldn't be better for tradespeople from Pictou County.
"It just means some of the younger people that are just graduating, they may get a chance to get a job for a couple of years, and people that are coming back from out West that may have worked at Michelin before will get some work," he said.
New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan says the plant's general manager called him personally Monday to relay the news. He says the company has "been a mainstay of Pictou County for generations."
"Those people from out West where things are slowing down and those people are coming home, it gives them a new sense of hope that maybe they'll be able to find employment," MacMillan said.
News jobs following cuts
He says even having job security for a few years could lead to more people deciding to settle in the area. Anytime there's young families, it's good for the economy, he says.
The new jobs will be in addition to the 600 current positions at the plant.
Two years ago, the company announced the end of 500 jobs at its Granton plant, in part because it was too expensive to upgrade the facility to make larger tires. The downsizing was completed on July 1.
The Granton plant already builds the X-ICE tires, so this project will see the line expand with no investment to the current infrastructure.
Tires will stay in Canada
The company says 70 per cent of the tires produced will be sold in Canada. The cost of shipping tires mean it's expensive to export tires.
Hawes is hopeful an increase in winter tire production will continue for more than a few years.
"Why would they just be temporary? I would think they would be looking at how successful it would be and if this is the place to expand their plant again in the future."
MacMillan calls the new positions a good start.
"We have to work extremely hard during those two years to source other employment," he said.