New L3 Wescam headquarters moving more than 1,000 jobs back to Hamilton
The 330K square foot facility will include assembly and office space
L3 Wescam is breaking ground on its new headquarters in Hamilton Tuesday, in a move that will bring more than a thousand jobs back to the city.
It's a company with history in the area stretching back to the 1950s that's essentially coming home to Hamilton.
"We're excited to be a part of this community again," Wescam said when it first announced the project two years ago.
The new headquarters, which will be located at the southeast intersection of Highway 6 North and Highway 5 in Waterdown, will bring more than 1,200 "highly skilled" workers to the city, L3 Wescam says. The company's headquarters is currently in Burlington.
The "state-of-the-art" facility will cover 330,000 square feet and include space for research and development, engineering, assembly and office space, according to the company, which says it expects to move in by 2021.
"We are pleased to announce that L3 will continue to be a part of this region's economic renaissance," stated Jacques Comtois, general manager in a media release. "Hamilton has a rich business legacy of transforming ideas into high-technology products and offers a skilled talent base with a deep knowledge of advanced manufacturing and applied research."
Mayor Fred Eisenberger cheered the news Tuesday, calling the company's decision "proof" Hamilton is a home for innovation and tech investment.
"This is one of the largest corporate head office investments in Hamilton in over a generation," he added. "The scale of high-paying jobs, the impressive talent working within the company and the global presence of L3 certainly raise Hamilton's tech profile significantly on a national and international scale."
The idea of Wescam itself dates back to 1957, when engineers for Westinghouse Canada on Longwood Road helped develop a stabilized camera system for surveillance applications.
The company went through various changes and buyouts, L3 Wescam said in a media release, and is now seen as a "world-leader in electro-optic and infrared imaging technologies and system solutions."
The company says it has over 4,700 systems operational in over 80 counties as part of search and rescue, airborne law enforcement and homeland security missions.
"This investment automatically boosts our capacity in innovation and tech, but more importantly it is a Canadian corporate retention story as the investment maintains a large regional employer in the area," said Glen Norton, Hamilton's director of economic development. "This will ensure continuity for L3 Wescam's customers, employees and suppliers."