ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster announced 30 high-tech jobs and a £6.5m investment for the Portadown engineering firm of JW Kane yesterday (Thursday).
It increases the company’s workforce to just under 100, with the posts aimed at graduate engineers and skilled operators. Invest Northern Ireland is contributing £1m as part of the overall package.
The minister’s visit to the firm was part of an overall province-wide announcement of 120 jobs, with 90 confirmed for the Dungannon recycling firm Edge Innovate.
Kane Precision Engineering manufacture components for the aerospace focused industry, their main clients being Bombardier, Thales, BE Aerospace, GE Hamble and Fokker. They were established in Portadown some 30 years ago, although they expanded dramatically at their Carn factory in 2009.
The new deal will add another 11,000 square feet to the premises, adding to Kane’s state-of-the-art high precision machinery, with the futurist European Airbus one of the aircraft which contains the range of components made at the firm.
As she toured the factory yesterday morning Mrs Foster said, “The Kane ethos fits in perfectly with the strategy for the Northern Ireland economy, and we are delighted to see the company expand with these high quality, meaningful jobs. Our aim is to move local companies up the supply chain.
giving them the capability to increase their high quality, value-added activities.”
Company chairman Jim Kane commented, “This is a significant and highly ambitious expansion which will increase our capabilities and widen our customer base. It will also add to our highly skilled and motivated staff and we will be able to target more aerospace customers and meet their exacting specifications.”
General manager Damian McArdle confirmed that the jobs would be for graduate and highly-skilled engineers. “It’s another significant development,” he added. “We supply small engineering parts for planes - you won’t see an Airbus in our car park! - but they are precision components that are vital for the aerospace industry and we aim to target more firms as an important supplier.”
The Kane announcement was part a positive day for Northern Ireland industry as Mrs Foster left for Dungannon - in her own Fermanagh-South Tyrone Constituency - to confirm the 90 jobs for ‘Edge Innovation’. The jobs are for skilled shop floor workers, design engineers, graduate engineers and general manufacturing jobs.
“Around 120 jobs in local engineering firms add up to wonderful news for the province,” she said.