Armorworks is part of a consortium of major multi-national companies bidding on a purchase and maintenance contract with the Canadian army for the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle Program (TAPV).
On April 3, Armorworks, located on Jim Bailey Crescent, hosted a supplier conference, to meet and greet potential supply chain companies should the contract bid be successful.
The conference was deemed a success by Armorworks as hopes are high that the expected June federal announcement will be favourable.
Armorworks supplies and installs “survivability” products.
In the TAPV program, that means the company would install blast protection seating, strategic shielding of the vehicle and other important components that boost the survival and protection factor for Canadian troops operating in combat environments.
The TAPV sought by the federal government is to be highly protected and incredibly mobile. The program cost has been budgeted $1.3 billion.
The federal government has a strong requirement that contract dollars be spread across Canada to support jobs in diverse communities.
The intention of the Armorworks group is to entirely build the TAPVs in Canada. Armorworks invited Western Canadian companies to identify quality suppliers.
Decision makers with the multi-nationals that Armorworks has partnered with were also on hand to meet the 80 conference attendees from 48 companies.
Martin Cronin, director of government and corporate relations for Armorworks, said most Canadians would be pleasantly surprised to find out there are many high-quality manufacturers in Canada.
“There are some very, very good companies doing the type of work we need in Western Canada,” Cronin said.
“There are steel fabricators, heating, cooling, cable systems, many of which are in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.”
Should Armorworks and its partners win the contract, it would mean jobs at those companies and a huge injection of jobs directly into the local economy.
“If we are the successful bidder, there would be an initial hiring for 12 to 18 months, an intense build period and then a 29-year service contract,” said Cronin.
The numbers attached to that are approximately 150 long-term jobs at the Armorworks buildings and an additional 200 to 300 supply chain jobs, mostly in the Okanagan Valley.
Should the contract be awarded to Armorworks there is an export market to approved countries waiting to be approached as well. The jobs would be high quality, including skilled manufacturing, as well as engineering and administration.
Armorworks has taken on extra space at its current location to handle the expansion in-house.
The company is currently managing growth with a separate project that has seen an additional 35 jobs in the past few months at the company.
“We have been able to find quality people locally,” said Cronin.
Winning the TAPV contract would have a long-term impact on the company and the community, Cronin added
“Obviously this contract would be a huge win for us and it would allow us to chase larger projects in the future that we can’t yet go after,” he said.