Over the past few months, Innovatia Inc. has been quietly hiring dozens of technology employees to carry out work on contracts the company landed with two high-profile global clients.
"We compete on a global basis and these clients could have had the work done in Argentina or Turkey," Dave Grebenc, the Saint John-based company's chief operating officer said.
So far, the hiring spree has seen the company create about 83 full-time jobs, mostly in Saint John, but also in the Edmundston and Bathurst areas, Grebenc said. Most of the new employees are already at work, but he said another group of about 12 to 15 will be starting by the end of the month.
The new employees were needed after the company won three major contracts with two different clients. Grebenc could not name the companies for confidentiality reasons, but said they are "large names that have shown confidence in our abilities."
This afternoon, Grebenc will join Premier Shawn Graham and Ed Doherty, minister of supply and services, at Innovatia's Germain Street headquarters for an official announcement that the government will provide the firm with payroll rebates for up to 100 jobs created by the company.
Government officials declined to comment Monday but Grebenc, reached late Monday afternoon at his office, said that the company will receive a 6.5 per cent rebate on the salaries, over a period of four years and up to a maximum of $900,000.
He said the company was aware of the possibility of funding through the payroll rebate system, under which employers must provide proof of payroll and demonstrate that they have retained their workforce over a certain period of time, but only received formal notice from the government in the last couple of weeks.
"You gotta work every angle," he said of Innovatia's pursuit of the financial assistance.
Grebenc co-owns the company along with Roxanne Fairweather, who is president and CEO. They purchased Innovatia from its former parent company, Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund (TSX:BA.UN), in November 2009. Prior to their acquisition, the two were both executives at the company.
It was Bell Aliant's predecessor company, Aliant Inc., that started Innovatia in 2000. Fairweather transferred from her role as president of Aliant Wireless to run the new company in 2001, and Grebenc joined the company a few years later.
Innovatia provides knowledge management and training services to more than 1,500 clients around the world.
The company currently employs close to 300 people and Grebenc said he looks forward to "more opportunities to drive employment in New Brunswick."
Earlier this month Business New Brunswick announced $1.2 million in payroll rebate funding for the creation of 75 jobs at Computer Generated Solutions Ltd.'s Saint John office.