Brewer News

Cianbro to make more modules at Brewer manufacturing plant, plans new hires

Cianbro will likely be hiring employees at its Brewer manufacturing facility to build parts for a refinery next year.

Company officials can’t yet name their client, or how many employees would be needed for the Brewer job, but they teased the announcement at the open house for the company’s new workforce development center in Pittsfield.

“Materials should start arriving in the first quarter and construction should be fully underway by the second quarter,” Andi Vigue, Cianbro’s president said Thursday. “We will be building modules.”

Previous modular projects — where Cianbro built pre-fabricated parts for larger structures, some four stories high — have employed 100 to 500 people.

The South Brewer module facility opened in early 2008 replacing the defunct Eastern Fine Paper Co., which was once the city’s largest employer before it closed in January 2004.

Cianbro completed its first contract to build 52 refinery modules for a Texas company in June 2010 and was awarded a contract three months later to build electrical building modules for a nickel processing plant in Long Harbour, Newfoundland.

Both projects used the Penobscot River to deliver the massive modules.

The electrical buildings were delivered in October 2012 and since then the facility has been used for minor projects.

The company has about 4,000 employees nationwide in 40 states and 1,750 in Maine. Cianbro recently was awarded a new federal contract worth up to $215 million to replace a port in Alexandria, New York, with partner Northland Associates of New York, and is building a 57-acre solar farm in Pittsfield, along with other projects.

The news came as the company is looking to expand. It plans to hire 250 new employees — largely in Maine and New England — by the end of the year.

“Our company is growing continuously,” Vigue said. “To maintain that growth we need 250 team members from all trades and right into professional positions — general foremen, superintendents, project managers.”

Employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 13 percent by 2024, faster than the average for all other occupations, according to a 2016 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff