MPP Walker announces funding through the Skills Development Fund

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker has announced the Ontario government is working for workers by investing a total of $3,639,511 in two local projects through the Skills Development Fund:  Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium of Canada (EMC) – $2,851,171 and Owen Sound Family YMCA – $788,340.

EMC – Informed by a successful and validated proof-of-concept, EMC is proposing Expanding Skills and Paths to Employment for Youth in Advanced Manufacturing, specifically to address these industry needs and demands for increasing the future supply to the manufacturing workforce and enabling Ontario-wide access to new skills, micro-credentials, trades and on-the-job experience for youth within the manufacturing sector.

EMC Project Coordinator Susan McLachlan (left), EMC Vice President and General Manager Amanda Doman (right) and Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker

Owen Sound Family YMCA – To coordinate and support the training of 22 Incumbents and 22 Job seekers through Personal Support Worker training.

YMCA Workforce Development Coordinator Sharon Baynham (left), YMCA Manager of Employment and Settlement Service Linda Alexander (centre) and Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker

“Thank you to both EMC and the Owen Sound Family YMCA for implementing these programs, which will help local residents improve their skills,” said Walker. “This is a great program that makes a real difference in our communities and I want to thank Minister McNaughton for his continued support.”

This initiative is supported through the government’s Skills Development Fund, which has provided over $200 million in funding for innovative projects that address challenges to hiring, training, or retraining workers during the pandemic.

“Our government is working for workers every day. Through our Skills Development Fund, we’re giving workers the training they need to fill in-demand jobs, earn bigger paycheques and advance in rewarding careers that make their families and communities stronger,” said Minister McNaughton. “Our government has a workers-first plan to deliver a stronger Ontario. As build today for a better tomorrow, we need all hands on deck. We’re leaving nobody behind and we’re getting it done.”

This investment builds on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family. It follows legislation Minister McNaughton recently passed that provides foundational rights for digital platform workersrequirements for employers to disclose their electronic monitoring of employees and for businesses in high-risk settings to have Naloxone kits on hand, and several red tape reductions to encourage out-of-province workers to help fill the generational labour shortage.

  • Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly 1 in 3 journey persons in Ontario were aged 55 years or older.
  • In the fall of 2021, there were more than 360,000 jobs vacant in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.