While several businesses around Barbados were looking to down size or impose shorter work weeks because of the current recession, at least one local manufacturer is looking to expand.
L&N Workshop at Cane Garden in St. Thomas has announced that the local demand for its services was so great, that it had outgrown its staff and physical space.
Manager of Sales and Marketing, Ricky Edwards, told Barbados TODAY during a tour of his plant by Minister of Industry Denis Kellman, that the largest demand was for the manufacturing of truck bodies, along with the refurbishment of vehicles generally.
Edward also said that the Transport Board remained a loyal client as well as the private minibus owners who recognised the quality of their work.
He revealed that export of vehicles to neighbouring Caribbean countries was a major strategy for the coming year, but noted the need for possible relocation to a larger property and the eventual hiring of over 100 workers in total.
The L&M Workshop executive pointed out that the company would need an additional 25 workers to be able to satisfy its export programme.
“But we definitely have plans to employ over 150 workers to get where we want to be,” Edwards added.
“Right now the demand locally is so great, that we have not been able to do anything regarding exports. But eventually when we could get ourselves fully organised in terms of the quantity of staff we are going to need to do the work quickly, and also the location, that we can get to that stage where we can fill local demand and also export as well,” he announced.
Edwards informed Barbados TODAY that their main source of employment at the moment came from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.
“Right now L&M Workshop is at the stage of innovation where we’re trying to continue to improve on what we are doing and bring out new products onto the market to suit the needs of our customers. We are also looking very strongly at the exportation to the Caribbean as well,” declared Edwards.
The L&M Sales and Marketing Manager saw exporting for Barbados as the company’s future emphasis, where it intended to sell, not only to the greater Caribbean, but beyond as well.
Edwards said while last year was a hard one, this year had so far been good.
“This year we have been really well supported by the Barbadian public and businesses. So we have no complaints in terms of that, to be honest. A lot of our work right now has been in truck bodies coming in; we have a lot of requests for them. We have expanded the number of clients we have been building truck bodies for,” he added.
“We have added a number of new ones this year that we never built for before. We are doing more refurbishment than before. People are doing more refurbishment now than building new. We expect the rest of the year to come out really well, because there is some major work we are looking at.” (EJ)