Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Linamar expands workforce


June 21, 2010
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Following one of the worst downturns in its history, Linamar Corp. is revving up to expand its workforce and create up to 1,300 new jobs over the next three years.

The Guelph Mercury reported that the new jobs will be added to the company’s local car parts and solar dish manufacturing plants, resulting in a $200-million investment in the Guelph area. Most of the positions will be permanent, and will be spread across the company’s 22 Guelph manufacturing plants.

Linamar has already started its hiring spree, adding to the 5,500 employees that currently work in the Guelph area. Last month, Linamar announced 800 new jobs in its Mexican plants, adding to its 10,000-person international employee base — and indicating that things are turning around for the company.

“We have a much better level of morale and a positive outlook toward the future. We have more certainty about what’s happening and people here are feeling good about the fact that we’re winning a lot of new business,” Linamar CEO, Linda Hasenfratz, told the Mercury.

In 2006, the provincial government promised to invest $44.5 million toward an ambitious Linamar expansion plan that included a pledge to establish 3,000 new jobs in Ontario by 2010. So far, Hasenfratz said Linamar has only received about half of that money because the company wasn’t able to meet many of its commitments during the economic downturn.

“We’re trying to make up for the last two years and the real slowdown in that spending and job creation now,” Hasenfratz said.

She said the company is in ongoing talks with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade about how to meet its commitments and obtain the remainder of the provincial funding.

Linamar posted a loss in 2009 of $46.9 million on sales of $1.67 billion. The company returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2009, and has remained profitable into 2010.