Ontario Invests In Atikokan Economy
New Composite Panel Manufacturer Brings Jobs And Hope To Community
ATIKOKAN - A McGuinty government investment in a value-added wood products operation in Atikokan will create new jobs and help the community move forward with a variety of economic development initiatives. Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro made the announcement today on behalf of Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle.
"This new operation brings with it the hope and potential to generate much needed new economic activity in a community that is currently struggling with serious employment challenges," said Mauro. "I am pleased that this new company has identified and seized an opportunity in the value-added forest products market and proud that our government is there to help get it started."
The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is providing $100,000 to Synergy Wood Ventures to manufacture cured acrylic paint surfaced composite paneling. The new company is operating out of the Atikokan industrial park and has created ten new jobs in this initial stage. Funding will be used to acquire paint line equipment such as coaters, dryers and related material handling equipment. The company also plans to add additional trimming and finishing equipment to produce components for shelving, stair treads and risers, as well as complete cabinet units.
"The company is positioning itself to succeed by identifying markets at the retail level and among other manufacturers who undertake additional processing," said Gravelle, who is also chair of the NOHFC. "Our investment in this new venture will provide a more stable footing from which to launch the operation and invigorate local efforts to pursue new economic development opportunities that have yet to be tapped."
This is one more example of how, working together, the McGuinty government is achieving results in Northwestern Ontario. Other examples include:
- Providing a total of $14.7 million to help the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, in partnership with Toronto's Sunnybrook Research Institute, develop a Molecular Medicine Research Centre
- Investing $25.4 million to date in support of a telecommunications infrastructure enhancements across the North
- Providing $675,000 to help the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association investigate research in biomass production, medicinal plants, sustainability of production systems and crop nutrition.
These initiatives are part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The Northern Prosperity Plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.