Garnet Lasby: My name is Garnet Lasby; I am the President of Massilly North America. Massilly is a family-owned fourth generation company controlled out of Europe. We run the Massilly North America facility here out of Brantford, it is the only facility we have in North America.
We are a full service metal lithography centre. So we take sheets of steel, very thin gauge steel, we apply coatings so that the steel doesn’t rust when you make it into a cap or a can. We apply printing so that it looks good on the shelf and then we take those sheets of printed metal and we stamp them out into the caps in vast quantities.
We were in a leased facility in Mississauga, we were growing very fast, we needed more space and a permanent home. So when we looked across the realm at the relative value of property, because we really wanted to own our facility to have excess land to be able to grow into, the economics couldn’t be beat, the location as far as where we send our products is exceptional because we are close to all of the major highways that head directly into the Eastern United States and across North America.
We brought over 85% of our existing staff with us. Either folks who are commuting or who chose to relocate to Brantford because again the economics of real estate in Brantford are much more attractive than they would be in some of the other areas closer to Toronto.
The feedback from our employees who have re-located to this area has been exceptionally positive.
When we moved we added three additional production lines to our existing five and we have scheduled to add another line in this fiscal year. So the move to Brantford has really been a great lever for us to be able to continue our growth trajectory unencumbered by the capital restraints that might have been presented elsewhere.
The folks at the City of Brantford, particularly in the Economic Development Department, were exceptionally helpful and that help came in the form of providing the information we needed about Brantford, about the workforce, about alternatives that were available both here and elsewhere to educate us on why this was a good place for us to locate for our business. I will say the City of Brantford was very aggressive in helping us make the decision to locate here. Much more so than some of the other jurisdictions we looked at.
You know, for Massilly, the move to Brantford has been 100% positive. We feel very supported. When we are here, people are happy that we are here and we’re thrilled to be here. We’re very much looking forward to developing a deeper relationship and deeper roots here as we continue to grown our business.
The post-secondary institutions are really - they’ve changed the community in so many ways. The transformation has really been driven by that activity. So you have the economic benefit of seeing, you have impacts between 48 and I believe 58 million dollars a year into the community. We’re seeing social and cultural change. There’s physical change in the downtown, businesses starting, catering to the students. Now what we’re talking about is tying our economic development processes to post-secondary so we’re looking at a knowledge base workforce which is more about where the jobs are going to be, as opposed to where the jobs were.