LAURENTIAN VALLEY – The rain didn't dampened the spirits of employees at the Pembroke MDF fibreboard plant as they hosted a special day just for their families last weekend.
The first-ever Pembroke MDF Family Fun Day was hosted on Saturday, July 8 at the plant site east of Pembroke. The event was the result of three months of planning and preparation by the employees' social committee.
While rain disrupted the festivities at times, there was plenty of games for the kids including a bouncy castle and sumo suit wrestling. For the adults, they had a chance to sink each other in a dunk tank and exercise their skill at lawn skiing using long boards. A lunch by Ullrich's was later served. Tours of the fibreboard plant were also conducted.
“The idea was to bring the families to see where their mothers and fathers have been working and see what they do at the plant,” said human resources manager Nicole Roussy, one of the event's organizers.
First opening in 1997 as ATC Panels, the plant was shut down in November 2006 after the company had been forced to do so because of a perfect storm of lessening demand for fibreboard, increasing costs for wood fibre and a steep increase in the price of electricity. Pembroke MDF restarted operations in 2014 as the demand for medium density fibre has increased in national and international markets.
“When you've been closed for six years and then you re-open a plant you have to re-establish that family and team connection,” added Roussy.
The plant currently employs 180 local people, however, it is anticipated to add another 20 by December. Roussy said this day was important to give back as the employees spend so many long hours at work and away from their families. MDF Pembroke is also planning a Yuk Yuk's comedy event for their employees and a golf tournament in September.