Waterville increases staff by 20 percent in Petrolia by year end

“We went through the downturn and now things are looking very, very good.”

That from Serge Mainville, the human resources manager at Petrolia’s Waterville plant.

The company is hiring between 60 and 80 people by the end of the year to bolster its staff of 420 people. It held a job fair recently saying most of the new employees will be working either the afternoon or midnight shift.

Mainville says Waterville, like most auto parts companies, fell on hard times in 2008. The fortune of the Petrolia plant was also impacted when Japan was hit with a tsunami which devastated the auto industry in that country. Waterville provides moulded parts for all the major Japanese automakers. “There were rough times for us…we experienced a downturn but we’re back with a vengeance.

“Some of the reason for the hiring is because of new business plus our existing customers are busy as well; a lot are working overtime and weekends and we have to match that,” says Mainville.

The mould maker has been bringing in new equipment for a number of months and as it is installed, more employees are needed.

Mainville says it’s part of a growth curve which has occurred over the last year and a half. “In the 18 months since I’ve been here, we’ve doubled in size,” says Mainville.

He adds the employees should all be in place “by year end, the hiring will be staged with people coming in as we put equipment into the plant. Hopefully, come December, we will have everyone in place.”

Mainville admits the latest hires means space is at a premium in the plant and says any decision about a physical expansion of the building would come from the company’s head office.

– Heather Wright