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Bright Futures
December 1, 2005

In rural and small-town Ontario, there has long been concern that young people must leave to find jobs. More particularly, they leave in search of careers that offer them a bright future and an opportunity to use their post-secondary education.

The Municipality of Port Hope has a number of high-tech industries in which these highly-educated and highly motivated young people are thriving.

 Bright Futures

At Norpak Handling Ltd., Darren Linn, Ian D'Agostino, Melissa Parrinder, Lydia Moyer and Jonathan Agnew, all under 32, are building careers with real futures.

Stewart Raynor, company president, says, "We love to hire young people. They are great; they are enthusiastic; their ideas are not hidebound. And their enthusiasm transfers to the rest of the staff."

The firm specializes in engineering and custom design of machinery and parts for unit-handling conveyors.
"We are systems integrators," says Mr. Raynor. "We are not manufacturing -- we outsource parts and assemble equipment after designing the application to fit the specific needs of each client."

Darren Linn, sales co-ordinator, has a master's degree in Engineering from Carleton University. His father, Gavin Linn, is vice-president of sales for Norpak. Melissa Parrinder is Mr. Linn's right-hand woman, doing executive office administration, inside sales and marketing, ordering and more. Lydia Moyer is the sales co-ordinator, a sociology grad from Western, currently lending her talents and training to sales, marketing, accounting and general administration.

Ian D'Agostino is a graduate of the electrical engineering program at Queen's who also holds a degree in kinesiology from Dalhousie. His major interest is robotics and he's Norpak's wizard with computer simulations that show clients exactly how a specifically designed system could work for them. At 22, Jonathan Agnew is the youngest recruit, a graduate of Durham College in nearby Oshawa, appreciates "the opportunity to grow with the company, the freedom to express yourself and use everything that you have learned."