• Niagara economic development officials to return from Colombia trade mission

    by Staff , The Tribune

    Welland’s economic development officer is part of an international trade and investment mission wrapping up in Colombia through a partnership of the city, Niagara Region, Niagara College and City of Hamilton.

    A release from the Region said the mission is aimed at building business opportunities for local businesses.

    “The city is part of the Hamilton-Niagara Partnership and is honoured to participate in a mission to Colombia to explore new business opportunities for trade and investment and develop new partnerships,” said Lina DeChellis, Welland’s economic development officer, in the release.

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  • Provincial courthouse to open in October

    By Laura Barton, The Tribune

    Niagara’s new provincial offences courthouse being built on East Main Street in Welland is both on schedule and budget.

    Nicole Menard, project manager for Niagara Region, said the exterior of the building has been completed and this week construction crews are working on its parking lot. Finishing the interior will also be taking place.

    “We’ve all been working together as a really great team to get it on schedule and open for business as per the original schedule,” she said.

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  • Walker Centre supports local industries

    by Laura Barton, The Tribune

    Niagara College’s Welland campus celebrated the official grand opening of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre Friday.

    It’s been two years since construction began on the multi-million-dollar facility, and although students have already been studying hard and learning a lot within its walls, it is officially complete.

    The innovation centre is a 15,000 square-foot facility with lab space for students to practice hands-on learning for the manufacturing industry while also providing small and medium-sized manufacturers with the ability to team up with the college for projects.

    The centre was funded by the provincial government and Walker Industries Holdings Ltd., with investments of $4.2 million and $1.2 million respectively.

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  • Company celebrates 40 years strong in Welland

    PanAbrasive, a steel shot and grit manufacturer in Welland, was celebrating 40 years of operation on Friday.

    Ron Sauriol, plant manager, explained a bit more about what the company does. He said steel shot and grit are used to treat metal surfaces, such as bridges or ships, before they are repainted or have other work done on them. It’s similar to sandblasting, he said.

    At the plant, he said workers recycle on average 200 tonnes of scrap steel a day, turning it into the shots and grits to be sold.

    He’s worked there for 12 years, the last two-and-a-half as plant manager and before that he was maintenance manager. He said it’s a great place to work and he admires and appreciates the hard work and dedication all of the employees have.

    That was a sentiment shared by each of the people who work at the plant. While PanAbrasive is celebrating its 40 years, Walter Mattiazzo is also celebrating 40 years with the company.

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  • Convergys to fill 40 jobs a month

    by Allan Benner, The Tribune

    While Niagara’s unemployment rate continues to inch upwards, a local call centre is working to counter that trend.

    Just as Niagara’s unemployment rate reached 7.3 per cent in June — up from 6.4 per cent earlier this spring — Convergys Ltd. is planning to hire 40 more inbound customer sales associates every month, “really up to the end of the year at least, at the moment,” said local branch’s recruitment manager Simon Skinner.

    It would about double the existing workforce of 250 employees at the Lincoln Street, Welland location.

    Site director Lisa Serba said the total number of jobs depends on the needs of the existing client in the large telecommunications business that is expanding its contract with the call centre.

    “It’s over the short term and definitely over the next couple months, as we look to ramp up based on client demand,” she said. “We’ll assess that as we have further conversations with the client and we can better assess what their needs are.”

    And although the starting wage at Convergys is $12 an hour – only slightly more than minimum wage – Serba said new recruits normally bring home far more than that, once sales bonuses are added up.

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