For several years, it's been a goal of Ontario-based Drive Products to expand its manufacturing division into Southern Manitoba.
When looking for the perfect fit to do that, they found Morden.
On Tuesday, the ribbon was cut to celebrate the official opening and expansion of the Drive Products Manufacturing Division into Morden, and Southern Manitoba.
Tyler Moss, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing was out from Ontario for Tuesday's grand opening.
"It's taken up to three years, so it's exciting to finally see everything come together here at once. We've always wanted to build in Southern Manitoba or Western Canada, and this is that opportunity coming to fruition," said Moss.
The Drive Products manufacturing facility on Jefferson Street in Morden is 60,000 square feet in size and features all new assets and equipment, which Moss said is all just coming online.
Already in the first 24 hours he was in Morden this week, Moss said the response he received from people was tremendous.
"We got some great stories with some of the new employees that have joined us, you know, from different parts of the world," said Moss."The region itself has been so welcoming, and I think it's a feeling of pure excitement for what we're going to do here in the future."
As a growing manufacturer, Moss said Drive Products always wanted to expand its operations into western Canada. Originally, to serve their western Canadian operations. As an exporter, he said it also gives the company access to the US midwest markets and the western States. "Where it's (Morden) geographically situated is perfect for us strategically."
Moss said the Skilled Labour Program in Morden was also a huge draw for them. "We were originally looking at a few locations in western Canada, but after being connected with Jason at the City of Morden, it became evident that this was the right place to build. Even today with the growing staff that we have, it's been great for us, in a time where as a manufacturer it's been very tough to find labour to support our growth. This has been great for us on all fronts."
Currently, Moss said the number of people on staff at the Drive Products Manufacturing facility in Morden is at 22, and growing.
Moss explained Drive Products manufacturing consists mainly of truck body manufacturing for cabin chassis applications in North America.
"Many of the products we sell end up in landscape, tree care, equipment rentals, and other verticals we participate in. And we produce utility bodies for many of the trades common in North America today. So these truck bodies end up on truck chassis from Class 3 all the way up to Class 7 mostly, and there are some exceptions to that, but that is predominantly what we're building."
Frank Voth and his family started Voth Truck Bodies twenty years ago, a thriving business that has since become a division of Drive Products. The Voth family also came out from Ontario for Tuesday's grand opening and said they are thrilled to bring some of their manufacturing to Morden.
"It's really exciting to be here," said Frank. Yes, it's been a roughly two-year process from the time we broke ground here in Morden, and you know, going through the process of permitting, building, and stuff, but it's all worked out so well. We're here, we're in production, and the market is strong for our products. So yeah, it's exciting to be here and to see the next layer of our development here"