Laval-based firm GA International awarded federal funding

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Martin C. Barry
From the left, Laval executive-committee vice-president Stéphane Boyer, GA International founder and CEO George Ambartsoumian and Marc-Aurèle-Fortin Liberal MP Yves Robillard announced a major subsidy recently to the company. Photo: Martin C. Barry

A Laval-based life-sciences business specialized in the production of temperature- and solvent-resistant labels for the medical and scientific sectors will see better quality productivity following the announcement of a $162,000 repayable subsidy from the federal government.
Located on Jacques-Bureau Ave. in Laval’s industrial park, GA International provides products and services to pharmaceutical companies, biomedical and biotechnological laboratories, as well as universities, hospitals and businesses involved in the petroleum, gas, electric, optic and even jewelry industries.

Meeting special needs

GA International’s clients often have specific and unusual needs. For example, a laboratory may require labels to identify cryogenic storage flasks subject to temperatures as low as 196°C, or for sterilization in an environment heated to 121°C.
The business, which was founded and continues to be operated by George Ambartsoumian, a longtime Chomedey resident, is making major investments in research and development. With its growing scientific expertise, it currently offers over 6,000 products, developed for 20,000 clients and distributed in more than 100 countries.

Automation necessary

To meet the growing international demand and to pursue an expansion, GA International recently made significant investments to automate its processes. The company is continuing in this direction with the installation of an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system to improve, among other things, inventory management in its warehouses overseas.
In addition to helping to maximize the business’s efficiency, the federal government’s assistance will lead to the creation of 36 jobs during the project, on top of the 60 that already exist.
The assistance was announced during a visit to GA International’s facilities on March 5 by Marc-Aurèle-Fortin MP Yves Robillard on behalf of Minister of Economic Development Mélanie Joly.

A bright future for GA

“The future for GA International is bright,” said Ambartsoumian. “We have breathtaking projects and daring ideas to develop and implement for years to come. We have an amazing team of motivated employees looking forward to advance our objectives.
“We have number of exciting projects happening now,” he added, “such as opening a location in India, vertical integration into primary materials’ manufacturing, doubling our manufacturing and office facilities, acquiring major manufacturing equipment, developing new and innovative products and more. The new ERP system financed by CED is an indispensable tool for our company and will be essential in making those projects happen.”

Laval is also assisting

Laval executive-committee vice-president Stéphane Boyer, who was also present for the announcement, said the city’s economic development department has been in touch with GA International to determine whether additional subsidies can be obtained for the company to encourage its growth.
“When a commercial or industrial enterprise expands its offices or facilities, we have tax credits to encourage them to grow and to expand,” said Boyer. “And GA International is a good example. I heard that the company has tripled its staff in just a few years and congratulate you on this.

Exporting know-how globally

“We often hear about companies when things aren’t going well,” he continued. “But also there are companies that encounter problems when they are growing because they face management challenges. I am happy to see that you have a strong team here and a very youthful work force.”
“The Government of Canada has made it a priority to invest in promising industrial sectors for greater Montreal and in innovative, thriving SMEs,” said Robillard. “GA International is an example of a high‑performance business bringing Canadian know-how to the world. It is a source of pride for me to be able to meet with this team that is contributing to the activities of a good many important businesses in our community.”