• 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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  • GE hires 10 for Welland facility

    by Dave Johnson, The Tribune

    As work continues on GE’s Welland Brilliant Factory, 10 of an expected 200 employees have been hired, says GE Canada’s Kim Warburton, vice-president of communications and public affairs.

    And only one of the first three hired has previous experience in an industrial setting, says Warburton.

    “A lot of people thought we were only hiring those who know their way around tools or had previous experience.”

    She says the company looks at more than just technical skills as it uses a style of management called teaming, where employees are making decisions on the floor.

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  • College investing $70 million in construction

    by Michelle Allenberg

    Niagara College is investing more than $70 million in redevelopment at its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses.

    The college is funding about 10 projects, including two which were recently completed.

    Pam Skinner, vice-president of the campus redevelopment program, said the projects were necessary, not only due to increased environment, but also to ensure students have access to top learning facilities.

    Currently at the Welland campus, a cafeteria and justice studies expansion at the Simcoe building is underway. The 3,330-square-metre expansion will include a student activity centre, cafeteria and kitchen. Skinner said the cafeteria will have a 500-person capacity, which will have an inviting and roomy atmosphere. The current student commons can only accommodate about 200 people.

    The Simcoe expansion will also include courtroom mockups. Skinner said the labs and four classrooms will provide justice studies students with a more realistic learning experience. When graduates go into the workforce, Skinner said the learning experience will have better prepared them with hands-on training.

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  • A social dining experience

    By Laura Barton, Tribune Staff

    Good food and good company are the goals that Matt Woodruff has for his new restaurant, The Supper Club.

    It opened its doors on East Main Street in Welland only a couple of weeks ago. It’s just moments away from Woodruff’s other restaurant, Matteo’s Ristorante, which he opened almost four years ago.

    He said both he and his girlfriend, Lisa Badawey, run both restaurants and the goal for both is to offer quality food and a great experience.

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