SAINT JOHN– Saint John-based industrial painting company Kelson and Kelson Industrial Group is hiring more people and expanding its facilities with the help of $320,000 in financial support from the provincial government.
The company announced Tuesday that it would be hiring 23 more people. Most of the new positions are in the industrial trades, including journeyman and apprentice sandblasters and painters as well as foremen and administrative staff. The company also plans to undertake a $400,000 expansion of their plant, a project the company says comes as an indirect benefit of provincial government’s investment.
“[The investment] is very significant and it really has helped us grow to the point where we’re building on to our shop and expanding our office facilities to add more staff and storage as well,” said company president Terry Kelson, in an interview with Huddle. “It’s been a major key for us to move forward in the growth pattern. It’s really truly helped a lot.”
Kelson and Kelson offers extensive services in the industrial painting world, such as surface preparation using ultra high-pressure semi-autonomous robotic systems, as well as protective coatings and linings. The company specializes in industrial flooring, lead abatement, dry ice blasting, industrial coating and sandblasting. With the majority of its customers in Atlantic Canada, the company has grown its workforce in Saint John from 35 full-time employees in 2015 to 60 full-time employees in 2018. Kelson says he is looking forward to growing his team.
“It’s a great day to put New Brunswickers to work. We’re proud to have employed some people who were having to go out west to find jobs in their industry. We managed to bring some of them back and put them to work,” says Kelson. “We actually grabbed some guys that were laid off at the Potash mine [in Sussex] when it shut down. That’s great news and we look forward to expanding.”
To support the hiring and expansion, Kelson and Kelson is receiving $320,000 in the form of a non-repayable capital investment from Opportunities NB (ONB). ONB estimates that the creation of the 23 jobs would contribute $2.5 million to the province’s GDP over four years and generate $511,000 in total direct provincial taxes over that same period.
“Kelson and Kelson are a real success story for the Saint John region and the entire New Brunswick economy,” said Minister Rick Doucet, who is also the MLA for Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West, in a release. “This company’s continued expansion is a direct result of the targeted investments your government has made. This is further proof that our economic growth plan is working and that we are getting things done.”