July 17th, 2024

S3 Group nearly ready to open facility in Medicine Hat

By COLLIN GALLANT on October 19, 2023.

Richelle Andreas, CEO of the S3 Group, speaks Wednesday at a tour of her company's new manufacturing facility in Medicine Hat.--News Photo Collin Gallant

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

A Saskatchewan company that wants to “re-shore” production of ag products is nearly ready to launch in Medicine Hat.

The S3 Group, makers of farm implements and air system equipment, welcomed Premier Danielle Smith and dignitaries to its newest production facilities in the Hat on Wednesday.

The provincial government is providing grants to the company which announced the facility this summer and has said it could eventually employ 100 Hatters to assemble motor and drying equipment for grain bins.

“We believe that there is an opportunity for North American manufacturers to be successful, but it takes the right talent,” said Richelle Andreas, CEO of S3 Group, which was founded in Swift Current but soon will have six manufacturing hubs across Canada.

“Many of our competitors are offshoring production, and we’re trying to bring that back to North America. The talent in southeast Alberta, specifically, is top notch.”

Smith, Jobs Minister Matt Jones and Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark also attended Wednesday’s event and tour of the 22,000 square-foot warehouse and production floor in the city’s SW Light Industrial area.

“Not only is it good for our economy, but also our region’s economy and helps us develop our industries,” said Clark

The Alberta Investment and Growth Fund will provide $1.3 million toward the company’s $7-million investment to set up in the city, money Jones said will come from a delineated “rural” stream of the fund.

The province has joined regional economic developers in promoting the Highway 3 region as a major food production hub and its potential for value-added processing and related industries – something Smith reiterated Wednesday.

“We’re building an agri-food corridor in the region … and what will be key is the Highway 3 upgrade,” she said. “I’ve signed a letter with Montana’s governor asking the federal government for a 24-hour crossing at the Wildhorse Port of Entry … We’re on standby to do whatever we can to support the region with additional economic development, and once we have connections and good routes all through southern Alberta, it will be self-reinforcing.”

Chamber of Commerce president Trevor Anhel said the new entry will be a welcomed addition to the business landscape.

“It’s phenomenal to see this coming to our community, and it’s great that the province is here, in person, to make those connections in our city,” he said.

The 22,000 square-foot facility on 18th Street could begin operations this month.

Hiring has already begun with about a dozen workings currently training at the firm’s facilities in Swift Current. The expectation is that the workforce could grow to 100 positions, including administration, in the next five years.

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