DeCast’s manufacturing plant expansion to almost 500,000 sq. ft, with an workforce increase to more than 600 employees, earned a June 14 visit from Brad DuGuid, newly appointed provincial Minister of Economic Development and Growth.
“We live in a fiercely competitive global economy that is changing on a daily basis,” DuGuid said from inside a seven-foot tall concrete cylinder at DeCast’s manufacturing facility in Utopia in Essa Township, according to the Barrie Examiner.
“Technological disruption is disrupting every sector of our economy from the infrastructure construction sector to the auto sector, to the information, communications and technology (ICT) sector. Every single sector of our economy now is in an absolute state of technological disruption.”
DuGuid told the assembled DeCast De Gasperis owners, staff and officials, including Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman and Essa Township Mayor Terry Dowdall, that DeCast is leading Ontario into the global market with its concrete tunnel innovation.
“We have a choice in the province of Ontario, and that choice is to either lead the disruption here in Ontario — tapping into the incredible talent we’ve developed, tapping into the incredible entrepreneurial spirit of our companies here in Ontario — or we can get swallowed up by it, run over by it and let others tap into that huge opportunity for driving that economic disruption that’s taking place throughout the world.”
DeCast executive vice-president Jim Tully explained the company’s new micro-tunneling technology, a trench-less pipe installation method..
Tully said after cutting a shaft and by using a tunnel boring machine, workers can push the pipe in behind the borer from below, rather than digging trenches above, the Examiner reported.
“What it does for us, it helps installing pipelines beneath highways, railroads, runways, harbours, rivers in environmentally sensitive areas. As well as in urban areas where opening a big trench down the middle of a road would cause a lot of impact for traffic and roads in the local economy,” Tully said.
“It’s safer for workers and less harmful to the environment. Micro-tunneling is the way of the future.”
The company is also building a pipe-fitting plant.
Vaughan and Durham region have approved DeCast for future projects, and Tully said the company is also co-ordinating ewith an Irish company on a major international project.
Not only has the city of Vaughan and Durham region approved DeCast for future construction projects, Tully said they are also currently co-ordinating their efforts with an Irish company on a major international project.
“The most important part of what DeCast brings to us in our township, is the jobs that are quality jobs,” Dowdall said. “There’s a lot of new places that are your $11, your $12 jobs. Well, it’s great that they’re working and that’s wonderful, but if people want to have a quality of life, they want to have family, they want to buy a house in our community, it’s companies like DeCast that give us the opportunity.
“For me as a Mayor, to say you know what, you can stay in our community, you don’t need to drive to Toronto anymore and you’re going to have a great job at a great facility, it’s great,” he said.
Image: A DeCast microtunnelling pipe.