A Penticton modular construction company that slowed operations to a skeleton crew in the spring is back up to 50 employees on site — more than the factory employed early this year.
The company has undergone a few changes this year. Britco Construction came into existence when the permanent modular construction division of the company was purchased by the Triple M Group of Companies. The rentals division became Britco under the Black Diamond Group. It was decided with one too many Britco’s in the market, they would change the name to Metric Modular. However, they are the same group that have 40 years of modular construction experience building hotels, multi-family housing, permanent offices, classrooms and workforce accommodations.
Stephen Branch, president of the plant’s new Metric Modular brand, said the site is working as hard as ever.
“The whole market has shifted in both Metric and Triple M Housing over here. Strong demand, and we now have 50 people in that plant and we’re looking for more,” Branch said. “We’d love to hire another 50 right away if we could.”
In the next year, Branch said he is expecting to see the employee count rise to 75 or 100, and that is in large part due to a surge in demand for modular homes, he said.
“It just means 50 families, now part of the community that we (can) give great employment for and solid long-term,” Branch said. “We’re excited to be back, and it’s a nice, good, feel-good community.”
A big part of that demand, Branch said, comes from housing needs in B.C., where the cost of buying a house is rapidly rising. Penticton’s Metric Modular plant, operated by Triple M Housing, provides all of that brand’s modular housing for the B.C. Interior, he said, but despite some other competition in the field, there is no shortage of demand.
“Oh yeah, there’s room. Very few industries is there not room for more,” he said.
“And housing is 100 per cent room for more. We all know the demand in B.C., we all know the housing crisis, and to be able to provide affordable homes quickly is really the key.”