Elora”™s Polycorp plans $17-million expansion

Call it a lucky Monday the 13th for Polycorp Ltd. here.

On March 13, the province officially announced funding of up to $2.5 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund to purchase new equipment, create a testing laboratory and expand its manufacturing facility.

Polycorp will spend more than $14.5 million, for a total project value of about $17 million.

Officials say the project, expected to be completed in 2022, will help boost productivity and competitiveness, increase exports and revenues, and create 26 new jobs and retain 146 positions.

Guelph MPP Liz Sandals was at Polycorp on Monday to make the announcement on behalf of Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth.

“Our government is pleased to support Polycorp’s expansion plans,” Duguid stated in a press release. “Ontario is committed to strategic partnerships like this, which help create jobs and build a competitive business environment.”

Sandals added, “I’m proud our government is making investments like these that will help expand Ontario’s manufacturing sector. Polycorp is a major employer in this community, and this investment will help bring more jobs to Elora.”

Polycorp CEO Peter Snucins said, “Twenty two years ago, we moved the equipment here from BF Goodrich in Kitchener.

“We came to an empty building. The parking lot was empty and we had no infrastructure; no power, no steam, no cranes. Fast forward 22 years. We’re full, can’t park in the parking lot … we have to expand.”

In just over seven months, on  Nov. 1, Polycorp will take over the rest of its building on York Street in Elora.

“We bought the land next door

and are embarking on a very significant capital expenditure program.”

He estimates spending for the expansion will be just over $17-million over the next five years.

“We appreciate the opportunity for Polycorp to partner with the Ontario government as we continue to grow our international presence,” said Snucins.

“This funding will help us sharpen our competitive edge, expand our intellectual property, add capacity and hire more great people from the Elora area.”

Sandals said, “This company is a valued member of the Elora community for more than two decades. As an employer, and as part of the province’s manufacturing base, the work done here each and every day is vitally important.

“You are an example of a great Ontario-based success story. I’m thrilled to see a local company competing and winning in the global marketplace.”

She noted that since Snucins first opened the doors in Elora in the 1990s, “you’ve built an organization recognized throughout the industry as delivering high quality products with customers in more than 30 countries.

“It’s easy to see why Polycorp has been named one of Canada’s best managed companies six years in a row. Clearly you are doing a lot of things right.”

Sandals said the answer to global competition is being more innovative, using better technology to be more productive, making better products.

Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton added “this is really exciting News for Centre Wellington and residents of Elora.”

Linton said he was proud to be part of the celebration to bring more jobs and more investment into Centre Wellington.

“Centre Wellington is one of the best places to live in Canada,” he said. “And I don’t get tired of saying that … but it’s not just about living, it’s about having a great place to work.”

Linton stated, “We live in a very competitive world If we take no action, we will lose jobs … and jobs will move south of the border.”

He said the municipality is working hard as a local government to take real action to attract jobs and investment in Centre Wellington.

“But we can’t do it alone,” he said, calling the provincial funding an awesome way to  give Polycorp “a chance to strengthen its position.”

Linton considered Polycorp one of several companies in Centre Wellington that are doing very well and exporting across the world.

Snucins quipped that now that the announcement is made, “we’ll get back to what we were doing and spending our money wisely.”

Snucins later noted the expansion means operations will expand not only into the remainder of the existing building, but additional land purchased will provide the space for even more growth.

The addition doubles the size of the existing building, bringing operations to 110,000 square feet in total.

Why Elora?

Snucins explained, “What brought me to Elora was that BFGoodrich was located in Kitchener and the plant itself was inefficient.

“For me it was important I got something that could be organized better, but still keep key employees.”

Snucins said, “If I took the plant 100 miles away, I would have lost people.”

That would have resulted in the loss of knowledge of the rubber workers.

“This location was close enough that most of them would come. It creates a nice stable workforce for us too.”

Polycorp designs and manufactures engineered rubber products that mitigate risks associated with corrosion, abrasion, impact, noise and vibration in the transportation, mining and protective linings industries.