Ontario Investing In Manufacturing Sector

May 18, 2021
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – The Ontario government is investing nearly $690,000 to train 260 manufacturing workers and apprentices on how to improve productivity, keep them safe on the job and strengthen our supply chains. This program, led by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), will help the sector quickly adapt to new challenges, such as the ones brought about by COVID-19.


“The pandemic has shown us the importance of adapting quickly to meet unexpected challenges,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Workers on our assembly lines have demonstrated resiliency and kept factories running so that families can continue to get food for their kids, furniture for their homes and other necessary items. This investment will help these vital workers gain the skills they need so they can confidently face new challenges and continue to thrive.”

Courses will be offered in person or virtually, and available to employees in any manufacturing company in the province at no cost. The program aims to connect manufacturing businesses across the province to create peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities through work councils and networking groups, so that manufacturing organizations can share knowledge, identify challenges facing the industry and generate solutions.

“Skills deficits and lack of training funding are Ontario manufacturers’ biggest challenges,” said Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Policy, CME. “This government funding will enable CME to deliver free training to manufacturers across Ontario and help them network with other manufacturers through a series of industry peer councils. This partnership between the Government of Ontario and CME will go a long way to alleviating one of manufacturing’s biggest problems.”

The funding comes as part of the government’s $115 million Skills Development Fund. More than 500 applications were received in the first month for this new fund, and a second application round is being planned for later in 2021. The government is working to process all applications for the first round of funding and discuss proposals with applicants.

Quick Facts

  • The first round of training will begin in early summer. Companies interested can get more information and apply by contacting
  • Ontario’s manufacturing industry accounted for 11 per cent ($78 billion) of Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020.
  • Approximately 11 per cent of Ontario workers were employed in the manufacturing sector in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2020, there were about 17,700 vacancies in Ontario’s manufacturing sector.
  • As part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario continues to support workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020–21 and 2021–22 to provide targeted employment and training supports.

Additional Resources

Business Reopening Toolkit

Cornwall Economic Development has put together a toolkit to help businesses reopen. The toolkit includes guidelines and a maximum occupancy calculator along with signs and posters that can be downloaded and printed:


We summarize the latest news about the impacts of COVID-19 on Cornwall businesses on a daily basis. Click on the following link to view:

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