Windsor

Highbury Canco hiring 10 workers in Leamington

Highbury Canco is looking to hire 10 workers at the Leamington tomato processing plant.

The company took over the Heinz processing plant in the summer of 2014

Highbury Canco currently employs 300 workers and is looking to hire 10 more. (CBC)

Highbury Canco is looking to hire 10 workers at the Leamington tomato processing plant. 

Highbury's president and co-owner Sam Diab said as the company gets more product and lines they'll hire more people.

The company also expects to hire between 115 and 130 seasonal workers who will work in the plant between July and October. 

Employees make $15 per hour and $16 per hour. Skilled trade workers make about $25 per hour. 

Highbury Canco currently employs 317 workers, most of them used to work for Heinz.

The Canadian company took over the 105-year-old Heinz plant in June 2014, after the ketchup giant pulled out of Leamington.

Diab said he expects to hire incrementally as they contract to can more product for Heinz and other companies.

"I would love to be 600 employees inside of four or five years," he said. "I think it's really tough to commit to the exact numbers, but you know our growth that we've experienced so far has been even better than I could have expected or anticipated." 

Highbury Canco was producing about a dozen products on top of the seasonal tomato juice last summer, now they are up to 100 varieties, including chili sauce.

As the company signs contracts to produce more products, it will add more production lines and workers.

Dawn Fodor was just hired three weeks ago.

"I like it, it's a steady pace. it's very physical," said Fodor. "We've always got lot's to do. We work as a team toward a common goal." 

The economic spin-off is noticeable in Leamington, with three new subdivisions, a retirement complex and more on the horizon.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson said Highbury has been good for the town. He said some of the businesses that used to service Heinz are now servicing Highbury Canco.

"Some of the ones I've spoken to are actually doing more business with Highbury than they were doing with Heinz," said Paterson. 

The booming greenhouse industry and the new medical marijuana industry have also helped, he said. 

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