LETTER: Paying tribute to Pacific Insight

From reader K. Driedger

In another few days, the most recent layoffs at Pacific Insight, now Methode Electronics, will take effect and bring to an end to manufacturing operations in Nelson. The small group that remains will occupy only a small corner of a facility that, at its peak, employed over 400 people assembling electronics and wire harnesses for companies like Ford, GM, Polaris, and many others.

Countless bright, dedicated people put years of their lives into making PI so successful that it ultimately attracted the attention of a billion-dollar company. It is a rather bitter reward that as a result of their efforts many of these exceptional people are now looking for work. If you can, hire them!

It’s natural to point fingers and assign blame for what has happened, but as we process the loss it’s also worth remembering the good that PI brought to Nelson and how remarkable it really was. Companies like PI don’t just spontaneously appear in small towns. They need someone who loves the community, believes in it, and wants to invest in it.

In 1987 that person was Brad Smithson, who moved his newly formed company back to his hometown of Nelson and then guided it through steady growth over the next 20 years. At the time, some may have argued that moving to Nelson was not a good business decision, but Brad saw the potential here that may not have been obvious to others.

The rest is history. Over the years, almost 4,500 people have worked at PI Nelson, earning money and gaining valuable experience in a high-tech industry. The end is sad because we are mourning the loss of something that was good. I, like many others, would not have had the opportunity to learn what I did, nor to raise my family and live in Nelson if it was not for Pacific Insight. For that I am very grateful. Thank you Pacific Insight, and thank you Brad.

K. Driedger


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

Just Posted

Evacuation orders for Duhamel, Salmo-Ymir and Crawford Creek rescinded

RDCK warns public that streams are still dangerous

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board said they were investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Most Read