Opportunities NB (ONB) is committed to accelerating the growth of New Brunswick-based companies through strategic investment in productivity and innovation projects.

Premier Tech is a textbook example of this commitment. With ONB support, the company is investing in new manufacturing equipment for its Caraquet facility, further improving that plant’s productivity and efficiency.

We spoke to Jean Bélanger, President and Chief Operating Officer, to discuss an announcement made today by ONB and his team.

ONB: First, tell us a bit about Premier Tech.

Premier Tech New Brunswick Bélanger: Premier Tech has been growing its leadership position globally for more than 95 years. Leveraging its human capital, Premier Tech focuses its efforts on three core industries: Horticulture and Agriculture –greenhouse production, agriculture, and lawn and garden; Industrial Equipment – rigid and flexible packaging, material handling, and palletizing; and Environmental Technologies – wastewater treatment and rainwater harvesting. Premier Tech is driven by a deeply rooted Culture of innovation and excellence supported by the collective power of its 4 100 team members in 25 countries.

We’ve had a New Brunswick presence for nearly two decades, with the Caraquet plant becoming part of our Industrial Equipment Group in the late ‘90s.

What does today’s announcement mean for your company and for Caraquet?

Investing in new technology and equipment ensures the Caraquet plant’s productivity remains on par with our two plants in Rivière-du-Loup. It also ensures that all of our Canadian facilities remain competitive globally. The Caraquet plant now has 56 team members, following the creation of 27 new jobs. This progress continues with nearly a dozen positions currently needing to be filled. So this announcement means securing existing jobs in Caraquet while giving us the ability to create more.

Can you touch on the relationship your team has with ONB?

We’ve been in New Brunswick for two decades and continue to invest here thanks in large part to ONB and its predecessor organizations. The Caraquet facility was a greenfield plant; it’s not something we acquired. It was a challenge back then, building a new plant while recruiting and training people, but the province was there listening to us, getting creative and innovative at finding ways to facilitate the whole thing. This investment announcement was just as smooth; we still get the same level of attention we did 20 years ago. It’s a testament to ONB being client-oriented and business-focused.

I’ve seen firsthand how other jurisdictions operate. When you’re looking to begin a project or implement something they’re enthusiastic. They’ll move heaven and earth for you. Once you’ve been there for five or 10 years, however, they take you for granted. That hasn’t been the case for Premier Tech in New Brunswick. ONB is client-oriented and came through for us and for Caraquet. The Caraquet plant will remain competitive, jobs are secured long term, and new positions will be created.

Learn more about Premier Tech careers at premiertech.com.

Written by Jason Boies