Roads & Paving
Feature: Painting a bright future
Superior Industries expands facility in Miramichi, N.B. with help from younger generation
By Andrew Snook
Superior Industries is ready to paint the town grey and orange with the addition of its new 2,000-sq.-ft. paint shop at the company’s facility in Miramichi, N.B.
The paint shop is the latest addition to the 25,000-sq.-ft. facility, which has plenty of room to grow. And grow it has. When Superior purchased the facility from MFE Manufacturing Inc. in 2015 it had 17 employees. Four years later Superior employs 47 people at its Miramichi plant, making the company a significant employer in the town of just over 17,000 people. What makes this an even bigger success story for the town and Superior is that the company has been able to grow in a way many companies currently struggle with – by tapping into a generation of millennials. Of Superior’s 47 staff in Miramichi, millennials make up 27 of the employees.
“Superior has a different take, a different culture,” says Superior Industries operations manager Perry Kelly, who has been working at this location since 1998, when it was still owned by MFE Manufacturing (MFE Manufacturing did fabricating work for Superior Industries). “They really want their employees to be happy, to care about the work, and be proud of their work.”
Kelly has been there to watch the company grow from a relatively small metal fabrication shop to a full production facility shipping aggregate processing machinery around the world.
“When I look back 10 years ago, it took a month to build a crusher. Now we’re building them in five days,” Kelly says.
This type of production is particularly impressive given the facility’s fairly small footprint. Kelly says his team has needed to get pretty creative at times to make sure it has the footprint to handle the orders coming in. This can mean a fair bit of shuffling things around, but Kelly and his staff are happy to do whatever is necessary to get the product built and out the door to Superior’s customers around the globe. The company’s other facilities are extremely impressed with what the Miramichi plant is able to produce in its manufacturing space.
“Right now we’re building a 115-foot conveyor once a day,” Kelly says.
Kelly has truly enjoyed his time working with Superior Industries. When asked what his favourite aspect of working for the company was, he said it’s the company culture.
“The support, the people, and the systems they have in place. I love that people are so important to them, because it makes it easy for me to know that I have the support to support my employees,” he says. “Earlier this year I asked CEO Micah Zeltwanger what the main reasons were for wanting to acquire MFE Manufacturing and have them part of the Superior Family. As per Micah, ‘Culture fit! I could feel the integrity and worth ethic the moment I stepped foot in the door. When I came back and met with the board, I said that it feels like Superior in the hearts of the people there, and they happen to have products that we can use. We invest in people, those people then take care of customers and pricing, and returns are a result of that investment and stewardship. We have been investing in Miramichi and are looking forward to the future!”