HARTLAND (GNB) – The New Brunswick government is investing $115,000 to help create 29 jobs at the Old Dutch Foods Ltd. in New Brunswick.

Premier David Alward was joined by Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe at the company’s plant in Hartland to announce this workforce expansion investment and to launch New Brunswick's value-added food strategy.

"Investing in workforce expansion and the value-added food sector are key pieces of this government's plan to rebuild New Brunswick's economy and create jobs," said Alward. "This funding builds on Rebuilding New Brunswick: Growing Together – An Economic Development Action Plan for New Brunswick, which outlines our commitment to work with innovative value-added food companies such as Old Dutch Foods Ltd. to create long-term, sustainable, full-time employment.”

Alward noted that value-added food companies are important employers throughout New Brunswick and contribute $650 million to the province's gross domestic product.

Value-added food is one of six sectors identified in the action plan, which is designed to accelerate economic growth and create jobs in all regions of New Brunswick on the strengths of its human resource potential and traditional economic advantages. The other five sectors are information and communications technology; biosciences; aerospace and defence; value-added wood; and industrial fabrication.

The positions being created at Old Dutch Foods Ltd. are being funded under the employer wage subsidy component of the Workforce Expansion Program. The objective of this program is to stimulate the creation of long-term employment and to help unemployed persons find a job.

"I am pleased that we have been able to work with Old Dutch Foods Ltd. to expand its diverse workforce," said Coulombe. "As a government, we work in communities and regions to match the needs of the labour market with New Brunswick's workforce – whether through training workers, supporting employers or matching employers with employees. Today's announcement is the result of the strong partnership that we are building with New Brunswickers."

This initiative is funded under the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement.

"Our success and growth as a company have always come down to having a committed and diverse workforce," said Wayne Reid, operations manager for Atlantic Canada and Quebec, Old Dutch Foods Ltd. "Old Dutch has recently invested in the expansion of our Hartland facility, and we are pleased that our growth means more jobs for the people in our community."

More information about the Workforce Expansion program is online.