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'It’s a huge investment': New Timmins facility means more heavy duty jobs on the way

SMS Equipment celebrates the official opening of its new $30M facility

More work for a heavy duty equipment facility means more jobs in Timmins.

The grand opening of the new $30-million SMS Equipment building on Highway 101 was held June 25. The facility is set to service mining and forestry equipment on a scale their old facility couldn’t handle, and the company’s leadership is ready to keep growing.

“For us, because our customers are growing in the region, we can provide more equipment and provide more support,” said Robin Heard, president and CEO of SMS Equipment.

The company has been in Timmins for roughly 30 years and currently employs around 80 people in the area. They’re looking to hit 100 employees by the end of this year and quadruple their staff in the next five years.

“Right now, this is the first step. We’ll have to get comfortable with this, and then we’ll see from there,” said Heard. 

That growth will result in more jobs going forward, said Heard, and the company is also actively moving toward building that workforce.

“Right now, we have six HET (heavy duty equipment technician) apprentices, and we’re a strong proponent of having apprentices to help us grow,” said Heard.

The new facility is 37,000 square feet, has five service bays, and boasts a crane capable of moving 100 tonnes. There are two heavy-duty welding bays, warehouse space, and offices for the sales and administrative staff on-site.

The work happening at SMS’s new facility will include remanufacturing, welding, painting and large equipment rebuilds. 

The facility was also built with an eye to sustainability, including a solar-generated power system that supplies nearly 70 per cent of the power the administrative offices need.

The impact of the new facility is clear for the city, said Timmins City Coun. Rock Whissell. 

“It’s a huge investment in the city,” he said. “Seeing a facility and seeing the technology and the technicians that are able to work on those machines and fix them is really something that’s important for the industry and important for the city to have these facilities locally.”

Timmins MPP and Minister of Mines George Pirie said the expanding services are a sign of a bright future in the mining industry.

“It’s all poised for the future,” he said. “That’s exactly what you take a look at when you’re making a decision on what project to invest in. It’s a bunch of things that are around the community, but certainly, the service centres are important to the decision, and look at this one. Brand new, 37,000 square feet, a $30-million investment that says it all.”

SMS also reached out to Mattagami First Nation to build a working relationship with them, and Chief Jennifer Constant said the effort was good to see. Talks are in the works about future partnerships.

“To invite us to come in, to have a meeting with us and to see their facility, we really find that to be quite respectful,” she said. “Part of our economic development wing with Mattagami Aki is to search out all opportunities available in our territory, especially when it comes to developing the resources in our territory.”

— TimminsToday