EACOM investing $10M in new housing in employee recruitment effort

GOGAMA — EACOM Timber Corp. is spending $10 million to build a new, 44-unit housing complex in Gogama, in an effort to recruit and retain employees to work at the sawmill there.

In a Sept. 28 news release, the forestry company said the new build would replace 12 existing housing units and would include a food catering service for employees.

The effort comes as the company embarks on a recruitment and retention campaign, which will welcome more than 12 new international employees and their families over the next year.

With local housing in limited supply, the new complex will help the company “stay at the forefront of human resources practices,” it said.

Corporate and regional employees who travel to the area on business are also expected to stay there.

“This is the realization of an idea that started two years ago,” Eric Larouche, EACOM’s vice-president of human resources, said in the release.

“EACOM appointed a dedicated task force group to work on this project and they worked countless hours to make it happen.

“We are extremely happy to offer our employees a housing alternative to better their life at work, as we always strive for the best for our employees.”

IVEY Group, a Sudbury-based recruitment firm, is partnering with EACOM on the project and will be responsible for operation of the facility, including foodservice, housekeeping, maintenance, and upkeep.

Anthony Lawley, IVEY’s president, said his company is bringing on board Timmins-based First Nations Industrial Systems, but didn’t elaborate on that organization’s role in the initiative.

“From the very beginning of the process, EACOM made it clear they wanted to support local businesses to stimulate the local economy,” Lawley said in the release.

“This is in direct alignment with our vision at IVEY Group, which is to continue to support the development of Northern Ontario, creating high-value jobs and promoting the north as a great place to work and live.

“EACOM is a great partner that demonstrates high levels of social responsibility and is an excellent corporate and community citizen.”

Montréal-headquartered EACOM owns seven sawmills, a remanufacturing facility, and an engineered I-joist plant, employing more than 1,200 people across locations in Ontario and Québec.