by Stella Shepard
Manufacturing is one of the largest private sector employers on PEI. Businesses include food processing, wood products, shipbuilding, fabricated metals, plastics, and aerospace and railway components.
Livingston Steel is a family-owned business specializing in the manufacturing and erection of industry structural steel products. With locations in Charlottetown and Summerside, their steel fabrication, structural steel erection and welding operations meet the needs of a diverse range of industries throughout the Maritimes and New England, USA.
The steel industry will be booming in the coming years,” says Paul Livingston, President. “There is pent-up demand because the industry slowed down in March due to COVID-19. As a result, our business will be expanding for several years.”
The company has 35 employees, including trades and engineering staff. “We could currently use four or five more experienced welders, but they are just not available right now,” says Paul.
For a small province, PEI has many fabricating companies. “I am co-owner of three stainless steel fabricating companies. The companies probably employ more than 100 tradespeople. PEI has many tradespeople, but there is still a shortage.
“Before COVID-19 the industry was doing well and there were many job opportunities. With the pent-up demand, things will break loose within the next six months.
“In my opinion, job prospects on PEI are very good. I don’t think the industry is going to slow down, and there will be more employment opportunities in the next few years. I’ve been in this industry a long time and I think employment prospects are better now than they have ever been.
“We have hired newcomers recruited through the PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada. It has worked out very well. We are prepared to help newcomers through the steps to get the proper certifications for trades and engineering.
“Some steel fabrication positions require less skill. Employees who are willing and able to work will most likely move up to higher skilled positions. We hire some students on a part-time basis but basically our workforce is full-time permanent.”
“We are presently hiring welders, labourers and steel fabricators. On the engineering side we are hiring estimators, steel detailers, and project managers. There is such a shortage of skilled tradespeople, and there will be no shortage of work in the coming years if a person is willing to learn a trade.
“Age is not a barrier in this business. A person who worked in shipbuilding industry could transition to this type of steel fabricating.
“There is a lack of female apprentices in the trades. We need more females in trades, which would be a great asset to companies.”
For more information about Livingston Steel, visit www.livingstonsteel.com.