Revitalization of Quebec's textile manufacturing industry - Canada's new government announces $2,879,150 to support two special textile manufacturers in Granby



    GRANBY, QC, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn,
Minister of Labour and Minister of Canada Economic Development, today
announced the awarding of $2,879,150 in total funding to two Granby-based
special textile manufacturers under the Canadian Textiles Program.
    A first repayable contribution of $1,190,800 will go to Stedfast Inc., a
firm specializing in the production of special fabrics for use in the
manufacture of, among other things, protective wear (e.g. firefighters' gear),
military items (e.g. heat-sealable tents), hospital supplies (e.g. absorbent
fabrics for operating room use) and industrial products (e.g. waterproof
aprons for fishery workers).
    "Since setting up its research and development division in 1988, Stedfast
has proven that Quebec manufacturers, especially those operating in the
textile sector, can make the leap from traditional to high value-added
products and stand up to foreign competition. This support from Canada's new
government will help Stedfast continue along this path and thrive on the North
American and South American markets, among others," stated Minister Blackburn.
    The Stedfast factory in Granby will use this funding to purchase new
manufacturing equipment, reconfigure its facilities, implement a Material
Requirements Planning (MRP) system, put a new marketing strategy into force
and develop a variety of employee training tools.
    Once completed, the Stedfast project will result in the consolidation of
the 90 permanent jobs currently in existence at the Granby plant as well as
the creation of 14 new positions.
    Produits Belt-Tech, for its part, will receive $1,688,350 in total
funding for four projects aimed at strengthening the firm's position as a
leader in the design and manufacture of nylon and polyester belts used, most
notably, in the production of car seat belts, webbing for air bags, straps for
cargo nets used in military air drop operations and webbing for safety
harnesses.
    This funding consists of four separate contributions, including two
repayable amounts of $750,000 and $738,350, respectively, for the acquisition
of a fabric dyeing machine and the implementation of a lean production cell.
In addition, the firm will receive two non-repayable contributions of $100,000
each to conduct a study on its processing times and business costs and to
adopt and implement a Kaizen continuous improvement strategy.
    "Belt-Tech looks to be in a good position to capitalize on the growth of
the auto safety market. Its ISO/TS 16949-2002 certification, an undeniable
competitive asset, has already allowed the company to secure a 12% share of
the North American safety belt market. This funding from Canada's new
government will help Belt-Tech strengthen its productivity, improve the
quality of its products and become the key supplier for car manufacturers,
particularly in Japan. This support will also help consolidate the 127 jobs
already in existence and create 13 new positions within the enterprise,"
Minister Blackburn concluded.




For further information:

For further information: Hélène St-Pierre, Communications, Canada
Economic Development, (514) 283-2583, Cell.: (514) 966-0661,
helene.st-pierre@dec-ced.gc.ca; Roxane Marchand, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Canada Economic Development, (819)
953-5646, Cell.: (613) 816-5094, roxane.marchand@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca; Canada
Economic Development is online at www.dec-ced.gc.ca. Subscribe to the Agency's
press releases at
www.dec-ced.gc.ca/asp/SalleNouvelles/acces_personnalise.asp?LANG=EN to keep up
with the latest news

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