Ross Video breaks ground on $15-million expansion

From left: Jeff Poapst, MPP Jim McDonell, Minister Vic Fedeli, David Ross, and South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

IROQUOIS — Ross Video Ltd. has kicked off a $15-million expansion at its Iroquois manufacturing facility, south of Ottawa. Forty jobs will be added to the current workforce of 125 as the video-production-equipment maker brings an extra 55,000 square feet of plant space into production.

The new build comes as the global firm aims to continue a torrid growth pace of 15 to 17 percent annually. At the Aug. 5 official groundbreaking ceremony, company officials said they anticipate hitting $250 million in sales revenue this year — up from $2.5-million 30 years ago when CEO and President David Ross joined the family company. (He marked exactly 30 years with the firm the day after the sod-turning.)

“I am extremely proud to be breaking ground on our factory expansion. This event combines our commitment to my hometown of Iroquois, a low carbon footprint green facility, and a major increase of our manufacturing capacity to serve our growing global customer base,” said the CEO, whose father, John Ross, founded Ross Video in Iroquois almost 40 years ago.

Ontario’s Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Minister Vic Fedeli was among those in attendance, as the project has landed a $2.25 million provincial grant through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund.

“Our government’s top priority throughout the pandemic has been protecting the province’s health and protecting our jobs and economy. These projects will make a significant impact in communities and economies in Eastern Ontario,” said Fedeli. “They will enable long-term measurable outcomes, including private-sector investments, job creation and retention, and strong regional growth.”

Ross has aggressively bought up 17 other companies over the last three decades, and the plant expansion will accommodate a planned consolidation of those operations in Iroquois. In addition to those 40 new manufacturing jobs, the expansion is expected to spur further positions as Ross continues to grow, according to the company.

Jeff Poapst, Ross’s Chief Manufacturing and Services Officer, waited a year to break ground due to COVID-19 delays.

“This will not only help us better deal with the substantial and sustained demand for our products and services but give us a chance to move closer to our goal of a fully carbon-neutral factory well before 2030,” Poapst said. “We take our responsibilities to our customers, our employees and their families, our suppliers, and business partners, our community, and the environment very seriously. We’re checking boxes on all those fronts with this effort.”

Originally sprouting up inside the Iroquois Shopping Plaza decades ago, Ross Video today makes equipment powering live video productions for billions of global viewers daily, according to the company.

It’s the largest of three Cornwall-area businesses recently awarded grants through the same Eastern Ontario Development Fund for a combined total of $3-million. Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, described the assistance as “important investments” that are “creating a path forward for many kinds of businesses. They all have at least one thing in common — developing the best products and services in the world.”

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