Funding supports value-added wood sector in B.C.
January 5, 2024 By Government of B.C.
Provincial funding for manufacturing is creating and protecting thousands of well-paying jobs for people in B.C. and promoting the development of made-in-B.C. products, with a focus on advancing the value-added wood sector.
“Since the first project was announced in June last year, the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund has been a catalyst for creating good jobs and growing local economies across B.C. by bolstering our province’s manufacturing sectors,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “We’ll keep working alongside industry to support clean, modernized manufacturing in every corner of the province, while creating the quality, sustainable jobs people need to build good lives.”
The $180-million BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF) supports for-profit organizations to plan and launch shovel-ready, high-value industrial and manufacturing projects that bring direct benefits and stable, family-supporting jobs to communities, while driving clean and inclusive growth throughout the province.
Support for wood products manufacturing throughout B.C. is an ongoing focus of the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund to protect forestry jobs and create more positions in the sector for every tree harvested. The BCMJF has seen strong uptake across the forestry sector, announcing more than $22 million to forestry-related projects so far to grow B.C.’s value-added wood manufacturing sector. In addition, the BCMJF is helping forestry sector operators modernize and adopt technologies that will reduce dependence on old-growth trees and create new opportunities for fibre supply.
The BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund is also supporting other manufacturing sectors such as food and beverage, transportation equipment and fabricated-metal product manufacturing sectors, as they invest in advanced technology that helps ensure workers gain the opportunities and skills needed to sustain and grow the manufacturing sector in B.C., while also improving productivity to meet market demands.
The BCMJF funding will help create more than 450 jobs, while also maintaining and protecting more than 780 existing manufacturing jobs throughout B.C. As much as $36 million has been committed to 25 capital projects and 13 planning projects for manufacturers looking to expand and fortify their operations through the introduction of new product lines, upgrading outdated equipment and building new facilities. These funded projects represent more than $300 million in capital investment being made in the manufacturing sector in B.C.
“We’re already seeing the impact of the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund in supporting growth in the value-added wood products sector in B.C.,” said Brian Hawrysh, CEO, BC Wood. “Fostering innovation and strengthening our small and medium-sized local manufacturers helps ensure long-term jobs and a sustainable future for the forestry sector and the communities it supports throughout our province.”
Funding through the BCMJF is part of a series of programs that the province has introduced to support the growth of value-added manufacturing in B.C.’s forestry sector. In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new value-added manufacturing program to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers.
The province is working with the value-added manufacturing sector to increase the flow of fibre and find ways to expand local production of high-value wood products. A strong value-added manufacturing industry diversifies the forestry sector by creating new jobs, protecting existing jobs and buffering against global market challenges.
Building resilient economies is part of the province’s work through the StrongerBC Economic Plan by building a strong and sustainable economy through clean and inclusive growth. Supporting B.C.’s manufacturing sectors helps build a more innovative economy for people, businesses and communities throughout B.C.
The BCMJF is accepting funding proposals for investments that drive clean and inclusive growth in the manufacturing sectors, particularly those in the value-added forestry sector.
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