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Innovative Trades Training Centre A Boon For Northwest Region

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Innovative Trades Training Centre A Boon For Northwest Region

McGuinty Government On The Side Of Northern Prosperity

DRYDEN - The McGuinty government is strengthening the Northwest's economy by helping Confederation College expand a regional centre for trades training in partnership with Weyerhaeuser and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.

The minister made funding announcements in Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout during a one-day visit to the region.

"A forecast shortage in some trades would have a major impact on the Northwest, where skilled trades people are the backbone of our resource-based industries," said Bartolucci, who also chairs the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). "Our government is pleased to support the proactive approach taken by the partners in this training centre to help address a skills shortage, and keep jobs and young people in the North."

The NOHFC is contributing $371,800 to Confederation College's joint project with Weyerhaeuser and its trade union, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, to buy equipment for a regional facility.  Located on the company's pulp and paper mill property, the facility trains apprentices in six electrical and mechanical trades.

Training began in September 2004. The initial commitment, which runs until 2012, is to train Weyerhaeuser maintenance department employees so that they acquire certification in at least two additional trades. However, the facility is also being used by college students from throughout the region. To date, some 160 employees and students have received training.

"The McGuinty government is on the side of Ontario families who want their sons and daughters to find opportunity. That's why we're investing in apprenticeship classroom spaces to help people become apprentices and pursue a career in the skilled trades," Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Chris Bentley said. "We are helping apprentices complete their training so that they can meet the needs of industry."
Ontario has Canada's largest apprenticeship training system. The McGuinty government is working to provide more opportunities for Ontario's youth to become apprentices by:

•    Increasing the number of new apprentices by 7,000 to a total of 26,000 annually in
    2007-08; and

•    Introducing the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit to make it easier for employers to hire and train new apprentices.

Today's investment is part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

Laura Blondeau
Minister's Office - Sudbury
(705) 564-7454
Michel Lavoie    
MNDM/NOHFC - Sudbury
(705) 564-7125



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