McGuinty Government Invites Durham Region Partners To Develop New Economic Strategy



    Plan To Include Quick Access To Job Training And Support for Laid-off
    Workers

    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government will work with the City
of Oshawa and community partners to develop a community-wide strategy to help
revitalize and diversify the local economy, Minister of Training, Colleges and
Universities, Chris Bentley said today.
    "Durham Region and Oshawa have been hit with a series of layoffs,
including those recently announced at GM," Bentley said. "Our goal is to work
with the community, employers and workers to develop local solutions for
maintaining economic growth and to get skilled workers back into the workforce
as quickly as possible."
    The government will invest $150,000 in the initial planning and has
invited municipal economic development partners and other key community
stakeholders in the area to partner in developing a community-wide adjustment
strategy.

    
    As part of developing an adjustment strategy, the partners will:
    -   Review the economic and human resource situation, and analyse the
        existing employer base within Durham Region and the potential ripple
        effect of layoffs in other regions
    -   Develop a plan to address identified problem areas in the community
    -   Identify priorities for revitalization and potential diversification
        strategies
    -   Create a service action plan to support affected workers which may
        include opening of a re-employment and training action centre in
        Durham Region.

    The Ontario government is also ready to offer its Rapid Re-employment
Training Service to GM and other laid-off workers to help them access the
skills and training they need to quickly re-enter the workforce. The
government has invested $20 million in this service to support an estimated
15,000 workers in 90 communities in accessing skills and training.

    Services and programs offered under the Rapid Re-employment Training
Service include:
    -   Forming special teams within communities where businesses have closed
        to help develop re-employment action plans for affected workers
    -   Reducing red tape so workers can quickly access customized training,
        skills upgrading, job placement and relocation services
    -   Helping laid-off apprentices find new placements and accelerating
        their in-school learning.
    

    Programs and services for workers include: job-search assistance,
training information, vocational and educational counselling, personal support
in dealing with the stress of job loss, financial counselling and information
about starting a small business.
    "Our government is dedicated to helping communities such as Oshawa and
the whole of Durham region by working with community leaders, employers like
GM and the local unions on ways to assist the industry and workers adjust to a
highly competitive global marketplace," said Bentley.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                         www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RAPID RE-EMPLOYMENT TRAINING SERVICE ASSISTS JOB-THREATENED WORKERS

    The McGuinty government has invested $20 million in its Rapid
Re-employment Training Service to help job-threatened and laid-off workers
across Ontario.
    This investment will provide support to an estimated 15,000 workers in 90
communities in accessing the skills and training they need to quickly re-enter
the workforce. Services and programs under the Rapid Re-employment Training
Service include:
    -   Forming special teams within communities where businesses have closed
        to help develop re-employment action plans for affected workers
    -   Reducing red tape so workers can quickly access customized training,
        skills upgrading, job placement and relocation services
    -   Helping laid-off apprentices find new placements and accelerating
        their in-school learning.
    

    How it Works

    Under the Rapid Re-employment Training Service, a rapid response team is
deployed to a community when a public announcement is made regarding a major
downsizing or closing. The response team is made up of representatives from
relevant government ministries who will partner with community organizations,
municipal government officials and union representatives to develop a service
action plan.
    The service Action Plan will detail the government's response to the
announcement and will outline the roles of the service providers in the
community who will be delivering the services. The action plan will be put in
place within 30 days of the initial response. The action plan, which is
available to the community, outlines the Ontario government's response to the
closure by identifying programs and services available to workers including:

    
    -   Quick access to customized training, skills upgrading, job placement,
        income support and relocation services.
    -   Workplace literacy programs to support workers in learning new
        processes and technologies.
    

    A local adjustment committee, led by an independent chair, will be
established to co-ordinate the implementation of the action plan. Members of
the committee may be drawn from among the affected workers, the union, the
employer and the local community.
    Individual plans for workers will be developed based on the individual's
skills, abilities and goals and will identify any gaps between those skills
and the jobs available in the marketplace. Analysis of local labour market
information is a key component of these plans.
    Every laid-off worker will have an action plan within 15 days of his or
her initial assessment and will have access to customized training, skills
upgrading, job placement and relocation services.

    Service Commitment

    As part of the Rapid Re-employment Training Service, the government is
making a service commitment to:

    
    -   Respond within one hour of a public announcement of major downsizing
        or closing
    -   Provide one-stop access to programs and services for affected workers
        through a co-ordinated response
    -   Develop individual action plans, including training where
        appropriate, within 15 days of each initial assessment
    -   Develop a Service Action Plan detailing the government's response and
        outlining the roles of local service providers within 30 days of the
        initial response.
    

    This initiative is part of Employment Ontario, Ontario's training and
employment network. Employment Ontario provides close to $1 billion in
integrated training, apprenticeship and labour market services to more than
900,000 people and businesses in all regions of the province. Information
about Employment Ontario services in communities across the province is
available online at www.ontario.ca/employmentontario, or by calling
1-800-387-5656.

    
    Contacts: Tanya Blazina
    Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
    416-325-2746

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                         www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Emily Bain, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1609;
Tanya Blazina, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746; Public Inquiries: (416)
325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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