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Barrie company key to Darlington Nuclear Generating Station refurbishment

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Ajai Shanmughan, a Georgian College mechanical engineering student at the Barrie campus, is doing his co-op at Brotech CNC, which is contributing to the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station refurbishment.

IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

Ajai Shanmughan, a Georgian College mechanical engineering student at the Barrie campus, is doing his co-op at Brotech CNC, which is contributing to the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station refurbishment. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

A Barrie company which is at the forefront of high tech industry in the province celebrated its accomplishments on Friday.

The Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries held an event at Brotech Precision CNC to recognize its success and expansion.

In the last two years, Brotech has doubled its size, going from 25 to 50 employees, most of whom are machinists specializing in precision machining for the nuclear, aerospace and defense industries.

Brotech began as a two-person operation in Bradford in 1995 and this year, the Bayview Drive company made a $1-million building and equipment investment to meet the needs of Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station refurbishment project.

“We’re supporting that effort by supplying parts that have to be replaced in order to refurbish the reactor; 20% of the province’s power needs depend on Darlington,” said Brotech vice-president Jerome Horowitz.

Georgian College has played an integral part in Brotech’s growth, he added.

“We could not possibly grow without a good human resources strategy, built around training young people who want to develop a career in CNC (computer numerical control) machining and who want to make the most challenging parts,” he said. “Approximately half of our 50 employees have either graduated from a Georgian College program or have attended apprentice courses at the college.”

Ajai Shanmughan, a mechanical engineering student at the Barrie campus, is doing his co-op at Brotech.

“It’s giving me practical experience. I’m learning new things every day,” he said while standing next to a CNC lathe. “This is a great stepping stone to my career.”

“They are extremely important to our operation,” Horowitz said of Georgian students. “They want to be associated with the cool stuff that goes into the air, into a reactor, a rifle or a Tesla car.

“We have a nice mix of people who embrace change and who embrace training. It’s about a culture of passing on knowledge.”

Being located in Barrie is a bonus, he added.

“When the situation arises, it’s very easy to sell prospective employees on moving to Barrie to work at Brotech,” Horowitz said.

That’s no surprise to Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, who said companies like Brotech make the city an attractive place to set up shop.

“It’s about quality and when (high tech) industries are looking for quality, they look to Barrie,” he said.

imcinroy@postmedia.com



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