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Ontario commits $2.4M for forestry training projects


September 6, 2019
By Ellen Cools
Ellen Cools

The Ontario government announced today that it will provide $2.4 million in funding for two SkillsAdvance Ontario training projects in the forestry sector.

Thunder Bay, Ont.-based Confederation College will receive $1,193,467 in funding to help 144 workers and people looking for jobs learn new skills and acquire necessary work experience. Training will happen at Nakina, Kenora, Thunder Bay, and White River, Ont.

According to a government press release, the training will focus on the skills and experience needed as a mechanical harvesting equipment operator, wood processing basics, control systems and life-skill training. Paid job placements with participating employers are also available.

“Resolute has a strong operating presence in the region, and just last year we renewed and expanded our longstanding collaboration with Confederation College to support high-quality training for local youth,” said Michael Martel, Resolute’s vice-president of wood products operations – Ontario, in a statement. “By investing in training and jobs, the Ontario government is demonstrating its commitment to creating new employment opportunities in the forest products industry and in Northwestern Ontario. A skilled labour market and sustainable business environment remain critical to the forest products industry.”

Meanwhile, the Nishnawbe Forestry Operation and Sawmill Training Program, led by Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: the Wenjack Education Institute, will help 56 Indigenous workers and unemployed people train for careers in forestry. Training, which will start in the fall in the Greenstone area, will include on-site exposure to silviculture, sawmill and harvesting operations training.

“Students enrolled will learn skills that propel them on a promising career path. The program is designed to bridge the gap between the classroom and job site, while positioning community members for local employment at sawmills and further education and training opportunities in the forestry industry,” said Gary Bruyere, acting executive director at Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute, in a press release.