Nova eyes moving staff back to city

Red Deer might soon be welcoming back a former corporate residents.

Red Deer might soon be welcoming back a former corporate residents.

Nova Chemical Corps. is investigating the local lease market with an eye to moving some of its staff away from the its complex at Joffre.

Rick Van Hemmen, Nova’s site leader at Joffre, confirmed on Wednesday that his company is considering a number of options to address space shortages.

“From a long-term perspective, we’re trying to decide if we should think about building some additional buildings on site, or should we think about moving back into town.”

Even if the former alternative is chosen, Nova would probably still relocate some of its staff elsewhere while the new facilities are being built.

Van Hemmen said Executive Place in downtown Red Deer is one of the building’s that’s being considered.

But he stressed that it’s one of many alternatives.

“We probably have at least four or five valid options away from Joffre — some directly in Red Deer — for potential office locations.”

Nova previously leased space in Red Deer’s Millennium Centre, where many of its administrative staff worked. Two years ago, it moved those employees to Joffre.

“At that point in time the business was sliding a little bit here in Alberta, with a lot of concerns,” said Van Hemmen.

Nova has since enjoyed strong revenues, secured new sources of feedstock for its operations, and plans to add a third polyethylene production line to its Joffre facilities.

“We’re looking at growth projects and just a different future,” said Van Hemmen.

“We’ve been restaffing a whole lot of core positions and we’re suddenly busting at the seams here at the site.”

Staff could be moved from Joffre as early as next year, he said. The number of people affected would likely be between 50 and 100, said Van Hemmen, with most of these in administrative positions and not directly tied to the plant’s day-to-day operations.

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