Several month after laying off 45 employees, LED Roadway Lighting has begun to recall those workers who were displaced in the fall as part of a natural business cycle.
AMHERST – LED Roadway Lighting’s future in Amherst remains very bright, says the company’s president and CEO.
Company president and CEO Chuck Cartmill announced earlier this week that his company has already started to recall the 45 employees who were laid off in November and December because of what he calls a natural business cycle.
“We’re hiring a lot of people back. We took a lot of heat before Christmas when we had the layoffs, but that’s a normal business cycle,” he said. “Our goal has always been to put the business first and that’s what we did.”
Cartmill said he doesn’t believe in making a big issue of it when people are laid off or called back to work. He said Amherst has been very supportive of the company.
“Amherst was the first community to give us a full conversion of 1,400 fixtures and when they tendered they gave us a percentage o points for local preference,” Cartmill said. “We’re not getting that preference elsewhere, but it’s nice to get it at home.”
There are 115 people working at the Amherst facility and company executive vice-president of operations Dave Scott said “the future’s very, very bright and we expect to have most of the people laid off in the fall back by the end of the second quarter.”
Cartmill said he was a “little” disappointed to learn that Halifax is not going to use a similar preference program for its conversion program, adding that mentally he has already mentally packed his bags in Halifax.
He said there are numerous jurisdictions that would welcome his company should he decide to move out of Halifax. He finds it frustrating not to get the support from the company’s home city.
“We’re very obligated to the province and Amherst and that’s why we’re still here. However, when you look at future innovation, based on what happens, there’s a feeling out there that LED Roadway has received all the support its going to get,” he said.
During the teleconference, Cartmill announced a $9.5-million equity investment, of which the majority will come from himself, the LED Roadway Lighting board and a $1 million NSBI debenture conversion.
The investment will enable the company to finance global projects.
Cartmill also announced his company will provide N.V. Elmar in Aruba with 12,000 fixtures and will provide 9,300 fixtures to Thunder Bay.
LED Roadway has also been named the preferred partner for two tech companies in the United States with their network interface cards to be integrated into lighting fixtures.
“We’ve gone through three years of great growth with approximately 48 per cent growth in sales each year,” Cartmill said, adding the company recently received a Best in Class Award (Local Residential) in the Next Generation Luminaries Competition in Santa Clara, Cal.
Cartmill said his company is in a global leadership position when it comes to Smart Grid and Smart City integrated network solutions.
He said winning the award is like winning the Oscars of the lighting industry.
Also Monday, NSBI amended its terms and conditions of investment in LED Roadway.
Since 2009, NSBI has committed $11 million in capital in the form of preferred shres and a convertible debenture.
The amendment does not include new investment dollars from NSBI, but does include converting a portion of NSBI's preferred shares, along with its debenture, into common shares of the company.
Preferred and common shares both have advantages for the investor and the company. In LED Roadway's debt-to-equity balance sheet, NSBI's preferred shares must be counted as debt, while common shares, counted as equity, allow the company more credit and can bring NSBI a greater return on investment over time.
"NSBI is very pleased with LED Roadway's year-over-year sales performance," said Ron Smith, interim CEO of NSBI. "At a time when the company is growing rapidly, these amendments to LED's balance sheet enable the company to fuel its growth plans, and support NSBI seeing increased return on investment over the long-term."