Cooke Aquaculture to create up to 100 new jobs

BLACKS HARBOUR (GNB) — Cooke Aquaculture will create up to 100 new jobs in New Brunswick over the next five years with support from the provincial government.

“Your government’s multi-year economic growth plan is focused on investing to help New Brunswick-based businesses to compete in markets around the world,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Cooke Aquaculture is a great example of how New Brunswick’s workforce and know-how can help businesses grow from right here in New Brunswick.”

The company currently has more than 1,300 employees at various locations in the province. The new jobs are expected to be marine site workers, technicians and managers, logistics experts and truck drivers. Twenty-five of the new positions will be created at the company’s office in Saint John, while the remaining 75 will be spread across Cooke Aquaculture’s head office in Blacks Harbour, and at operations in St. George and Grand Manan.

“It is a tribute to the success of our recent acquisitions that we are able to continue to create new jobs here in New Brunswick,” said Glenn Cooke, company CEO. “Opportunities NB and the Government of New Brunswick remain outstanding partners for us as we continue to grow. These new employees are needed to help us reach our latest growth targets and we are very pleased to be able to add so many of them as part of our operations in rural New Brunswick.”

To support the creation of these new jobs, Cooke Aquaculture is eligible for an investment of up to $1.9 million from Opportunities NB, which is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.

Up to $990,000 of this funding comes in the form of payroll rebates, which are performance-based and only disbursed to a company once it has created and maintained the jobs for one year and provided proof of salary levels and employment.

In addition, Opportunities NB will invest $810,000 in the form of a forgivable loan, and a $100,000 non-repayable contribution, both of which are to be used towards capital improvements to support continued job growth.

It is estimated that creating up to 100 jobs would contribute $25 million in payroll over five years and $80 million toward the province’s GDP over that same period.

Cooke Aquaculture Inc. is a family-owned sea farming operation based in Blacks Harbour. The global Cooke family of companies also includes seafood and wild fishery divisions.