Province Investing in Auto and Advanced Manufacturing Sector Training

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The Ontario government is investing over $9.3-million in 11 new projects to train and retrain approximately 2,000 people to work in Ontario's auto and advanced manufacturing sectors.

The investment will support training projects ranging from hands-on learning opportunities for students in co-op or internship settings to short-duration, college courses that help laid-off workers learn to operate high-tech machinery for the auto or advanced manufacturing sector.

Over $2.2-million will go to the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association to create up to 669 hands-on learning opportunities in the auto sector for college and university students, graduates and apprentices across Ontario.

Association President Flavio Volpe told AM800's The Morning Drive that the manufacturing setting over the next 10 to 20 years is going to be very technology intense.

"Yes, we're making parts of vehicles, stamped parts or you're making interior parts or you're making advanced electronics. But the factory itself is becoming a living, breathing technology wonder," he says.

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Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada (AM800 file photo by Peter Langille)

Volpe believes one of the the biggest drivers in investment decisions is who do you having working for you?

"What we're doing here with this program is saying 'we want the next generation in. We're going to make it easier for companies to recruit them, train them and retain them'", he says.

Volpe points to the long-term benefits of exposing students to the sector.

"We find that when students are able to be exposed to advanced manufacturing, in a co-op setting, they are twice as likely to stay with it at graduation. I love that the province has partnered with us on it," he adds.

The provincial funding announcement also includes $480,000 for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for the FCA Canada Student Employment Experience.

The program will create up to 160 hands-on learning opportunities in research, production and office roles for students in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke.