Heddle Shipyards trying to put Port Weller dry docks 'back on the radar'
The operator of the Port Weller dry docks is vowing the get back on the government's radar for major contracts.
Heddle Shipyards took over Port Weller two years ago after the dry docks were shut down.
Speaking to CKTB's Matt Holmes, Heddle president Shaun Padulo reflects on the history of the dry docks and his vision going forward. "Port Weller at one time had 1,500 to 2,000 employees back in its heyday. For a number of reasons the shipyard went into insolvency and we lost a lot of really good people and they moved on just because of not having stable work, it's not a really good prospect to feed your family. So we lost a lot of people, and so in the area right now we're really trying to build back up a strong, solid team of employees at Heddle Shipyards so that we can take on large projects and projects more frequently."
Padulo says they now have 50 employees for the summer, their slow season, and had 80 full time workers through the winter in addition to subs and suppliers.
Now, the goal is securing lucrative government contracts. "Ontario's been forgotten to some extent, I think because Port Weller was down while all these decision were being made," he says. "I'm trying very hard to get us back on the radar. So, spending a lot of time in Ottawa, meeting with officials in Ottawa."
He adds the folks at Port Weller have already proven they can handle major projects - currently a Coast Guard ship is in Port Weller for installation of a multi beam Sonar system.