March 3, 2023
The Bay of Quinte is home to 8 Wing CFB Trenton, the largest air force base in Canada. The base is an economic driver within Quinte West, contributing jobs and driving growth for local businesses. One of these businesses is Miltex Solutions Canada. Since 2014, Miltex has manufactured and supplied military gear to Canadian armed forces and law enforcement, including gear like parachutes, tents, harnesses, sleeping bags, and overdose spray holsters. Miltex also sees the potential for private companies like Amazon and Walmart, as well as Canada Post, to use drones in the near future. Miltex equips drones with parachutes and that product line is part of the company’s future growth.
Since Matt and Brad Gagnon purchased the company, Miltex has experienced more growth, hiring 13 more employees to grow from 30 to 43 employees.
Why the Bay of Quinte Is the Best Place for Companies Like Miltex
As well as their close proximity to one of their primary customers, 8 Wing CFB Trenton, Miltex’s location in the Bay of Quinte keeps them connected to supply chain infrastructure like the Highway 401 corridor making it possible to send gear across the country.
Their location in the Bay of Quinte makes it possible for Miltex to access resources through the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC). Mike Hewitt, the Manufacturing Resource Centre Coordinator for QEDC helped Miltex get grants to send an employee for sewing machine repair training course. QEDC can help businesses access upskilling to continue to improve their growth.
Derrick Morgan, senior account manager for the Bay of Quinte branch of BDC, assisted Matt and Brad Gagnon in their purchase of the company as the primary lender and had an important impact on the success of the deal. Matt and Brad Gagnon called his work on the deal “creative” and Morgan was nominated for an M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) Award this past fall. Matt and Brad Gagnon called Morgan a “great supporter” who believes in them; “We appreciated working with someone local who is so attuned to us. He’s a champion of us and very present.”
Despite the transition to new ownership and then soon after the COVID-19 pandemic, Miltex experienced their aforementioned company growth and purchased a new tool: a laser cutter. Previously, materials were cut by hand with scissors but this method is prone to errors and injury. The laser cutter has made this process far more efficient. They also won the QBAA Award after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Matt and Brad credit their growth and success to their employees, who had “established a fantastic bedrock over the last 7-8 years.” When companies like Miltex choose to establish themselves in the Bay of Quinte, they get access to a strong, skilled workforce who takes pride in their work.
Finally, with Loyalist College so close by and producing graduates who excel in their fields, Miltex has access to co-op programs and the great benefits that come from those students, like increased flexibility, strong community connections, and higher retention. The Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC) provides information, connections, and resources for manufacturers in the Bay of Quinte. QEDC supports the region’s businesses and entrepreneurs as well as the local workforce.