New Brunswick's Groupe Savoie invests C$268,750 in sawmill upgrade, skills training for staff; projects receive C$511,500 in federal funding and C$245,000 from province

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick , April 25, 2014 (press release) – Groupe Savoie is improving its productivity with new state-of-the-art equipment and skills training for staff thanks to investments by the federal and provincial governments.

“Our government’s investment in Groupe Savoie is an important part of our plan to create jobs and opportunities in our communities, including in Saint-Quentin,” said Restigouche-la-Vallée MLA Martine Coulombe. “Making production and product quality improvements are important investments to ensure the viability of Groupe Savoie, one of the region's top employers.”

Coulombe attended the announcement for Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

“Our government's support will help Groupe Savoie upgrade its operations and train its employees in order to remain competitive in an ever-changing industry,” said Bernard Valcourt, federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “In the last 30 years, Groupe Savoie has become a leader in hardwood processing and a key player in New Brunswick's forestry industry. Today's investment will allow the company to integrate state-of-the-art technology into its operations to improve its productivity and efficiency.”

The investment includes the purchase of a 30-inch horizontal optimized edger system for its pallet plant. This equipment will enhance the plant's productivity by maximizing wood fibre usage. In addition, a training project will help Groupe Savoie contract the services of the New Brunswick Community College to develop a customized industrial electricity program.

The federal government is providing a $461,500 repayable contribution through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program for the upgrading and an additional $50,000 through the Business Skills Development Program for the training. The provincial government is contributing $245,000 to the upgrading. The company has invested $268,750 in both projects.

“The projects announced today will enable us to significantly reduce production waste thanks to new technologies,” said company president Jean-Claude Savoie. “It is important to acknowledge the support of the federal government in these projects and the contribution of the provincial government with its proactive approach to forestry. This collaboration with our governments allows our company to remain competitive.”

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