Two companies, each representing heavy industry, are sweeping up the confetti after celebration parties in Prince George.
Finning, the heavy equipment company located in the BCR Industrial Site, announced that it is significantly expanding the size of its operations. Meanwhile, the Canadian tools and services chain National Concrete Accessories opened its first local storefront in the Carter Industrial Area. Both companies are crediting the overall industrial activity around the region as their primary reason for stepping up their Prince George presence.
"Companies like ours are choosing Prince George as a place to do business because of its strategic location, infrastructure, and opportunities in the region," said Marvin Ramsay, B.C. regional manager with National Concrete, which provides tools, supplies and services for both small and large, industrial concrete projects. They have outlets across Canada with two manufacturing plants, one in Edmonton and one in Toronto.
National Concrete's regional vice-president Brad Fenn added, "we felt that having a presence in Prince George would be critical to our success in B.C. and allow us to service our customers in the interior more efficiently."
Finning has been located in Prince George for decades but thanks to the success of their neighbours - Wajax Equipment - were able to boost their own activities by moving into the 35,000- square-foot facility next door.
"They ended up building brand new at a location not far away so it was an opportunity that fell into our laps, right next door," said Finning spokesman Don Gowan. "This allows us to consolidate a bunch of our operations under one roof and get some synergies with different departments."
The expansion into the former Wajax site demonstrated some of the collaboration going on in the competitive resource development sector.
"We compete against them [Wajax], in some respects, but it was a real pleasure to deal with them in putting this deal together," Gowan said. "It is working well for both of us, I think, because we are both realizing some of those opportunities that are coming PG's way thanks to a busy industrial sector all over the region."
Gowan said the additional space makes it easier for Finning to centralize its operations, thus saving money, but also to have a sleeker workspace for its many departments making their company more appealing to prospective employees. With the high-performance, high-expectation equipment they have at mine sites and forestry operations in the region, having a strong workforce is important.
"We see Prince George being the centre of the north, on a lot of our operations," Gowan said. "Part of our strategy in establishing a central shop facility here to help our partner communities keep up with their demands. We are their support base."