Leamington's Highbury Canco, expanding again, seeks 85 new workers

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Windsor Star/Doug Schmidt

Highbury Canco, the food-processing phoenix that rose from the ashes of Leamington’s Heinz facility, is expanding again, this time seeking 85 new workers for a new production line.

“Things are going well — we’re running more product, so we need more help,” said company CEO and part-owner Sam Diab.

In the 18 months since Highbury Canco engineered a rescue plan for Leamington’s biggest employer after Heinz’s shocking exit announcement, the company has gone from an initial 250 full-time employees (down from more than 700 when it was owned by Pittsburgh food giant Heinz) to 325 last fall and now to more than 400.

Diab said the latest hiring spree has nothing to do with the news that American brand French’s will begin purchasing tomato paste from Highbury Canco for its own ketchup. That contract is also good news for local area growers of processing tomatoes.

“That’ll probably drive even more hiring in the summer,” Diab said of the French’s contract. Last year, between 100 and 150 part-time workers were added at Highbury Canco during the harvesting season.

Hiring began last week and will continue over the next several weeks, he said.

Skilled workers and those with manufacturing backgrounds are particularly desired, but Diab said anyone “with an openness to learn” is encouraged to apply. “We provide training,” he said.

The lowest paid jobs start around $15 an hour, but Diab said the company provides a full benefits package.

Resumés can be dropped off at the plant, or those seeking work can drop by to fill in an application.