LONDON, ONT. -- One of London’s largest food processing facilities has announced it’s looking to fill 19 positions with people who have been displaced from their jobs due to COVID-19.

“We have not had one day where we could not produce,” says the company’s executive North American vice president, Marco Schmidt. “Our people are so engaged and showing up and understand also the necessity in these times as an essential business to provide food, not only for the community here, but also for the rest of Canada.”

In an interview with CTV News Wednesday, Schmidt discussed the company’s plans to continue production during the pandemic.

“We are a family-run business, which cares very much about the people who work for the business and also for the people who live here. We thought it’s a good message that we have that we are actually hiring in these challenging times.”

The jobs include everything from production to technician positions. They pay is between $19 and $36 an hour. The company has temporarily boosted wages by $2.25 during the pandemic.

With its vast agri-food sector, the London region has often been touted as the bread basket of Ontario. But in recent years there have been concerns about London’s ability to fill food processing jobs.

London Mayor Ed Holder told a daily media conference there are 3,200 available jobs in London, and many people looking. But he acknowledged the challenge of matching people's skills with the available positions.

“The impact on food production, it represents tens of thousands of employees in London and Middlesex County. So it is a significant concern if we’re not able to fill those positions, but they’re good paying jobs.”

In 2017 Dr. Oetker closed its plant in Eastern Canada and consolidated operations in London. There are currently 288 employees.