October 19, 2016
Kruger Products is investing over $50M in a Bay of Quinte-based expansion that includes repurposing an existing 300,000 square foot building. Kruger Products already provides Quinte West with 100 jobs – a number that will grow to over 300. How did this expansion in the Bay of Quinte come about?
Kruger Products knew to go to the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC) for help with their new project idea.
As experts on available funding, QEDC was able to direct Kruger Product to the Ontario Jobs and Prosperity Loan, and help direct the application process, increasing the likelihood of success. The result of the QEDC Kruger Products partnership: Kruger Products received $10M.
As economic development specialists it’s the role of QEDC to help companies apply for the right programs so big investments, like Kruger’s, happen in the region.
In 2010, QEDC and the City of Quinte West worked to bring Metro Paper, a manufacturer run by entrepreneurs, to the community. QEDC helped Metro Paper access programs and resources allowing the company to grow and eventually were purchased by Kruger Products in 2014.
By staying closely connected to a local company’s goals, QEDC can steer the organizations they work with in the right direction regarding funding, facilities, talent acquisition and skills training.
“We don’t just work with a Bay of Quinte company when they come to us with an opportunity. We seek them out, to understand their business, so we can help them create opportunities,” says Chris King, QEDC Executive Director.
Further, companies – including Metro Paper and then Kruger Products – have been able to access skills training development rebates QEDC set up with partners like Loyalist College in anticipation of local industry needs.
The QEDC was created, and exists, because of the City of Belleville, City of Quinte West and Municipality of Brighton’s commitment to economic development. It’s a true community organization that exists for the sole purpose of making sure the people who live in the Bay of Quinte have access to multiple, quality jobs, and that businesses have lots of opportunity to become and stay successful.
How Will QEDC Help More Companies Expand In The Bay Of Quinte?
- Lead companies to apply for the best funding programs to get their projects moving.
- Work with funding administrators (federal and provincial) to understand each funding program’s goals so businesses can confidently (and efficiently) make their case through the application. Kruger’s expansion plan hinged on the success of their Jobs and Prosperity Loan application.
- Generate local support for new projects with stakeholders like municipalities, provincial and federal ministries so local decision makers understand the project and “buy in” to new ventures in the region. This helps decrease the risk for the expanding company, making them feel safer to put resources towards trying something new.
- Introduce new business opportunities and supply chain connections with local suppliers and services
Great To Work With: The City of Quinte West & QEDC
Kruger Products employees 2,500 workers in North America and is the maker of well-known household paper products Cashmere, Scotties and Sponge Towels.
“Everything was perfect. We got a lot of support from the entire quinte area. Without that collaboration this project never would have happened. It made the company’s investment a lot easier,” said Kruger’s CEO Mario Gosselin.
You Can Help Your Community Too: Buy Local!
QEDC also created the Proudly Made in The Bay of Quinte Campaign – you can see shelf hangers and displays at Smiley’s Independent Grocer in Trenton and Dewe’s Independent Grocer in Belleville – to celebrate the fact that so much of the products you already buy were made in your Bay of Quinte backyard.
“Manufacturing has changed. In our region, these plants are leaders of the newest technology (like robotics). They offer clean, technology focused places to work with lots of career advancement opportunities,” King notes. “You can get the skills you need to work in these amazing places – and get hired quickly – by taking courses locally at Loyalist College.”
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