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Steel fabrication firm sees staff grow from two to 37 in two years

Holdfast Metalworks in Nanaimo has come a long way since it first opened its doors on Farquhar Street two-and-a-half years ago.

The steel fabrication business has seen its work force increase from just two in 2010 to 37 today as work from commercial and industrial projects in the midisland region has come pouring in, including much of the steel work for the $15.7-million project to build a new city hall annex building.

Holdfast Metalworks also provided its steel fabrication services to Nanaimo’s new cruise ship terminal, which opened last year, and the new Rexall pharmacy on Bowen Road.

On Wednesday, Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan will be at the company’s work yard to try his hand at some metal fabrication work on Holdfast Metalworks’ new $1-million computerized drilling machine, designed to do much more precise fabrication work in a fraction of the time of the old system.

It’s the first and only machine of its kind in operation on Vancouver Island.

For general manager Wally Misura, the growing success of the business, which has seen its revenues rise from $850,000 in its first year to approximately $10 million today, is a dream come true.

While much of the company’s current projects are in Nanaimo and north to Parksville and Qualicum, Holdfast Metalworks is also eyeing Victoria and has recently bid on the steel fabrication work on a $5-million project in the capital city.

“When I first decided to move to Nanaimo, I quickly realized that the city and the region has a lot of resources and talent to tap into,” Misura said on Friday as he toured the worksite checking on the progress of his employees working on a variety of projects.

“I think a lot of people take it for granted and don’t even real-ize what a paradise we live and work in.”

Misura said much of the design and fabrication work at the new city hall annex, which will see construction begin in early April, is being done by local firms. 250-729-4234

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