When people talk about the work being done by the Chatham-Kent’s Economic Development team, they generally speak about how the team is working to bring new industry to the area and help existing businesses grow and expand. What is not always known is that Economic Development is helping to play an important role in retaining existing business in our community.
One example of this Economic Development success occurred a little over a year ago when, following intensive negotiations, Chatham’s Enviroshake Canada facility announced that they were keeping their doors open.
Before the deal in October, 2017, to return Enviroshake to being an independently operated company, the plant had been operated by US-based Headwaters Roofing Group, which itself was purchased by an Australian Headquartered company, Boral Industries. On August 25, 2017, Enviroshake’s parent company made public its decision to close the Chatham plant by the end of the year and move part of the production to an existing plant in Michigan. The municipality, including the Economic Development team, stepped forward to help find a different solution.
“We actively presented the business opportunity to several Ontario-based investors and we did all we could to help them negotiate a deal,” said Geoff Wright, Economic Development Officer responsible for Business Development at the Municipality. “It was a huge win when those negotiations paid off and a year later we have a strong company growing in Chatham-Kent.”
By keeping Enviroshake local, the municipality was able to retain approximately 30 jobs for the community and Enviroshake was able to manufacture without interruption their composite, lightweight, roofing products in Chatham-Kent.
“We helped connect business people with resources to be a part of the negotiations and we introduced alternate financial solutions and government training incentives that brought value to the deal. We are very happy all parties involved were receptive to our participation and open-minded about getting a deal made in Chatham-Kent,” said Geoff Wright, “The deal that was worked out secured the future of two production lines, the plant itself, and retained jobs in Chatham-Kent.”
“We thought it was a good business opportunity ̶ a solid facility, innovative products and a good workforce,” said Pat Smith, one of two Ontario business people who purchased the major portion of the production facility. “We look forward to working with Economic Development Services to continue our success,” he added.
Now that we are a little over one year in, the story does not end with just the jobs that were saved. Enviroshake is actively hiring and is seeking both general labour and skilled employees as their facility continues to grow.
As Chatham-Kent continues to be on a positive upswing regarding new business, new investments, and new jobs, it’s also important to remember that we have a team of talented people working to make sure our existing businesses continue to call our community home.
For more information about Chatham-Kent Economic Development and the great news happening in the region, visit www.investck.ca.
Enviroshake engineered roofing provides the authentic look of cedar and slate with lifetime performance
Enviroshake also manufactures products such as Enviroslate, a slate-style shingle
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039