GE plant taking shape in Welland

Allan Benner, The Tribune

General Electric’s new factory is beginning to take shape in Welland.

The steel frame of the 45,000-square-metre facility is rising above 30 hectares of property along Highway 140, between Silverthorn Street and Buchner Road.

Welland economic development officer Dan Degazio said contractor PCL Construction has had “great weather” since ground was broken on the US$165-million project in late August, keeping construction on schedule.

The company has begun recruiting workers to fill the expected 220 new jobs that will be available at the plant when construction is completed in early 2018.

Degazio said GE is expected to make an announcement regarding employment opportunities “very shortly.”

“You might see something on the screen up at city hall,” he said, referring to the LED sign outside Welland Civic Square.

“It should be coming soon, I think,” he said.

The company is now advertising jobs for assembly technicians at The website says the entry-level positions are for workers who will machine, assemble, test and paint reciprocating gas engines, as well as perform various repair operations using hand tools,
specialized tools and fixtures.

Responsibilities include to coach, guide and train other team members and function in a teambased environment; work from complex product drawings, manuals, specifications and other company/customer specifications; set up, operate, adjust and troubleshoot all tools and
equipment used in the assembly process; and perform inspections required to assure that the quality plan is achieved.

DeGazio said the city is working with GE regarding industries that could be setting up shop in the area to provide supplies and services.

“We’re probably meeting with everyone in the next little while to see what’s needed from their perspective on what they need supplied from our local people, and also who possibly could be moving in here,” Degazio said. “We’re anticipating that you’ll see pretty good support for our suppliers, for not only Niagara region but from Hamilton south.”