Nfld. & Labrador

'Great problem to have': Glove factory in central Newfoundland wants more workers

Point Leamington's glove factory wants to hire 30 new workers, but can't fill the positions.

About 160 people work at the Superior Glove factory in Point Leamington

Wilf Mercer is mayor of Point Leamington, a small town north of Grand Falls-Windsor. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

For the mayor of a small Newfoundland town, it's likely the best problem you can have: not enough employees to work at the biggest economic driver in the seaside community of Point Leamington.

In a town of more than 500, the Superior Glove factory resting on the harbour's edge in the community, north of Grand Falls-Windsor, is a big employer for the central region, employing about 160 people.

It is so big, in fact, the company wants to hire about thirty more people but they haven't got the bodies to fill the jobs, according to the town's mayor.

"Great problem to have, isn't it?" Mayor Wilf Mercer said with a smirk during a tour of the facility Tuesday.

"It's the life blood of the community right now. Not just the community but the region, because we have people coming in from every community in the Exploits district."

'Best kept secret'

Mercer isn't sure what the unemployment rate is in his town, but he estimates it's a small fraction of the population.

"We're a centre where people are coming to go to work, whereas before people were going out to go to work."

Mercer said people are often shocked to learn there is a glove factory nestled in small-town central Newfoundland exporting as much as they do.

"It's one of the province's best kept secrets," he said.

Dwight Ball and Jerry Dean, who is seeking re-election in the district of Exploits, toured the factory Tuesday afternoon during the Liberals' travels through central Newfoundland.

The factory began as a modest operation 30 years ago, with workers creating goods out of their homes and community buildings.

Today, 3,500 different types of gloves are manufactured at the Point Leamington facility, and the company has opened a second location in Springdale, employing 70 people.

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About the Author

Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's.


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