Canada's Economic Action Plan invests in southern Ontario manufacturing and
workers

BRAMPTON, ON, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Innovative small- and medium-sized manufacturers will benefit from a new initiative to provide southern Ontario workers with advanced technological education and skills training. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, announced a $12 million investment in the Yves Landry Foundation's Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) Initiative today at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

"Our government is acting quickly to stimulate the economy, create jobs and support the people and industries of southern Ontario," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will provide the advanced skills training that workers need so that manufacturers can innovate."

Through the AIME Initiative, the Yves Landry Foundation will fund up to 75 per cent of a project's total direct and indirect eligible cost up to a maximum of $50,000. Examples of eligible skill training projects include developing new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools to support innovation; and retraining to use new technologies, new manufacturing methods, or new processes or procedures that improve competitiveness.

These new funds will benefit eligible small- and-medium-sized manufacturers in southern Ontario by accelerating commercialization, attracting and retaining talent, developing growth for new and existing firms, and creating leading-edge jobs.

"We are delighted to be working with the Government of Canada on this important partnership project," said Michael Sherrard, Yves Landry Foundation Chair. "This is vital funding, which will promote and support innovation within the manufacturing sector, and the adaption of new technologies in southern Ontario. We are grateful to the federal government for its outstanding commitment and vision."

For more information on the AIME initiative, please see the backgrounder.

This investment comes from the $55 million intake process under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP), which is open until December 1, 2009. The SODP was established to promote economic development, economic diversification, job creation and sustainable communities in Southern Ontario. It is just one in a series of initiatives introduced in the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to address the short-term effects of the economic decline on communities across Canada, while preparing our communities for long-term growth. Overall funding for the SODP is $100 million in 2009-10.

For more information on the SODP and details regarding the intake processes, please visit the FedDev Ontario web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca. For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.ca.

This news release is available online at: www.southernontario.gc.ca and www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Achieving Innovation & Manufacturing Excellence (AIME)

In the Ontario Manufacturing Sector

The Yves Landry Foundation was established by leaders in Canada's manufacturing and business sectors in 1998, to advance technological education and skills training to resolve the skilled labour and technical professional shortages facing Canadian industry. The Foundation is governed by a board of directors comprised of senior leaders from industry, education and the NGO sectors.

Features of the Program:

-----------------------

Through the AIME Initiative, the Yves Landry Foundation (YLF) is making available up to $50,000 per company in the form of a grant to foster training that will lead to advancements in innovation within the manufacturing sector in Ontario.

Project Eligibility:

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Specific funding will be provided for two major objectives:

Objective One - Training that will support the adaptation of new technology, new processes or procedures or a change within the company to support innovation. If a manufacturing company is adopting an innovative new process or concept in any area of its business, funding can be provided to share in the cost of retraining all employees involved.

Objective Two - Training that will support and develop highly skilled personnel in any area that leads to innovation. This can include the development of new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools necessary to support innovation; retraining to embrace new technologies, new manufacturing methods; or any other business area that will make an Ontario manufacturing company more competitive in the global marketplace.

Eligible Applicants:

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This funding is open to all Ontario manufacturing companies in all segments that meet the following criteria:

    
    -   Between 15 - 1500 employees.
    -   Continuously in business in Ontario for at least three years.
    -   Must be able to demonstrate a solid financial footing.
    -   Manufacturing facility or facilities located in southern Ontario
        (please refer to map on website outlining coverage area).
    -   Manufacture a specific product for sale in Ontario or elsewhere.
    

Preliminary applications can be submitted electronically in PDF, Word and Excel formats at any time prior to January 1, 2010. YLF will provide feedback within 10 business days. Full proposals must be received no later than January 15, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.yveslandryfoundation.com or contact the AIME team at (416) 620-5464.

SOURCE FEDERAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SOUTHERN ONTARIO

For further information: For further information: Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, (613) 943-7599; Media Relations, Industry Canada, (613) 943-2505


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