With work finally underway to remove the wreck of the MV Miner from the coast of Scatarie Island, local businesses and workers are experiencing a welcome economic boost.
The ship ran aground almost three years ago. An Antigonish company is being paid almost $12 million to salvage what's left.
RJ MacIssac Construction has hired 30 new employees for the project, with over 70 per cent from Cape Breton.
Company spokesman David MacDonald says they received over 200 applications. The positions range from boat operators, to deck hands, construction labourers, a carpenter and camp workers for cooking and cleaning. Welders and heavy equipment operators were also hired.
Many of those workers need a place to stay and places to eat.
"We have a core group with about 10 employees in the local area they have been here for a month staying in hotels eating in restaurants," MacDonald says.
"Beyond that, we hired local trucking companies and are stockpiling aggregate for this break water that we talked about so there are some spinoffs to be had."
As part of the project, the company is transporting stone to build a new break water on the island.
Nora Pitcher owns the Fortress Inn Motel in Louisbourg and says the management team from RJ MacIssac Construction is staying with them. She says the spinoff from the MV Miner salvage is a big help in a soft tourist season.
"It's been very important to us this year since tourism is down about 50 to 60 per cent in our local area. With him coming in and bringing his crew in it'll boost up our business."
MacDonald estimates millions of dollars will be spent in many local communities before the MV Miner is removed. They have until November to complete the salvage.