Employees work at Pacific Insight in this 2014 picture. The company’s owner Methode laid off part of its work force in October while moving production to a facility in Mexico. File photo

YEAR IN REVIEW: Layoffs, closures hit Nelson-area businesses

Our No. 7 story of 2018

Unexpected unemployment was a theme for many local residents this year.

Two long-time businesses went through layoffs, with Can-Filters closing in June and Pacific Insight letting go part of its workforce in October.

Can-Filters, which had operated on the North Shore since 1989, manufactured and sold inline fans and various types of filters.

But the company was bought by multinational garden supply company Hawthorne Gardening in October 2017, and in June it was announced Can-Filters would close, 27 employees would be let go and the building would be sold.

A spokesperson for Scott’s Miracle-Gro, which owns Hawthorne, told the Star in an email that the decision was part of the company’s strategy to invest in cannabis hydroponics.

“Decisions such as these are difficult and are emotional for all involved. We very much appreciate their service and their work and are focused on helping to do what we can to help them make the transition to their next phase.”

Meanwhile, another long-time local company felt the sting of its international owner’s business plans.

Pacific Insight, located on Highway 3A just outside Nelson, designs electronic parts for the automotive industry. Like Can-Filters, Pacific Insight was also purchased by an international company last year when Chicago conglomerate Methode acquired it for approximately $144 million.

When the deal was announced, a Methode spokesperson said it planned to keep all its employees at Pacific Insight. That changed in October when Methode said it was moving production to a facility in Mexico because of changes in the automotive industry.

Methode has not disclosed how many employees were let go, but a source told the Star it was at least half the workforce. The source was also skeptical that Pacific Insight would keep its Nelson building open.

“At least half the machines on the floor will be cleared out of there. I’d say likely more.”

There is still hope for new local employment on the horizon.

Nelson native Greg Malpass is expected to open an office for his tech company Traction on Demand next year in the Legion building, which Malpass has a memorandum of understanding to purchase.

Malpass said he thinks his team of 25 employees will be mostly new hires.

Related:

Can-Filters closes, 27 Nelson employees let go

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

YEAR 2018

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two new fires burning in the Arrow Lakes Region

One of the fires is burning approximately 30 kilometres northwest of Castlegar

Municipal climate caucus, founded in Nelson, meets for national online conference

The group consists of 294 mayors, councillors and regional directors from across the country

Navy vessel to be named after Nelson’s Hampton Gray

The announcement comes on the 75th anniversary of Gray’s death

Nelson’s police chief retiring

Chief Paul Burkart has given notice for the spring of 2021

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read