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Creating Training and Job Opportunities in Eastern Ontario


Province’s investment will support new partnership in Ottawa-Renfrew and Peterborough-Haliburton regions

June 07, 2021

PEMBROKE — The Ontario government is investing $5 million to help people in the Ottawa-Renfrew and Peterborough-Haliburton regions prepare for successful careers in Ontario’s forestry sector. Algonquin College, through the Forestry and Wood Product Manufacturing/Producing program, is leading an innovative skills training project in close cooperation with local employers to upskill local workers and jobseekers.

Details were provided today by John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and MPP for Renfew-Nipissing-Pembroke on behalf of Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

The SkillsAdvance Ontario project will help 150 jobseekers and 300 employed workers gain the skills and work experience they need to find jobs or advance their careers in wood product manufacturing and producing in Eastern Ontario. This will include training in areas like mill and manufacturing operations, field skills and heavy equipment training. To lead this project, Algonquin College and Fleming College will form a consortium that will develop further partnerships in the initial phase to ensure broad industry reach and strong stakeholder engagement.

“This project is good news for people and businesses in the Ottawa-Renfrew and Peterborough-Haliburton areas and for the forestry sector,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “This funding helps employers to train the skilled workers they need for their business and create job opportunities for people from the region. Everybody wins.”

“Training programs are essential to our mission of helping people find good jobs,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “With the right training, laid-off workers can get the hand up they need into life-long careers. Supporting innovative training projects in communities across the province is part of our plan to help people develop the in-demand skills they need both now and in the future.”

Ontario’s 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, includes measures to help workers and families recover from COVID-19 by investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020–21 and 2021–22 for employment and training supports, and proposing the new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, a one-time credit that would provide up to $2,000 for workers who enrol in an eligible course or training program in 2021.

Quick Facts

  • The forest sector generated $17.6 billion in revenue from the sale of manufactured goods and services in 2019 and supported approximately 143,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2020.
  • There are approximately 80 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across Ontario dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector, including: hospitality and food, steel, mining, construction, manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, healthcare, social assistance, personal support work, early childhood education, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, arboriculture, landscape and horticulture, cannabis, financial services and accessible digital media transportation sectors.
  • SkillsAdvance Ontario projects are supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
  • The Employment Ontario network includes more than 300 partner organizations across Ontario that offer a range of free services and supports that help businesses find workers and connect jobseekers to training and job opportunities.


“Our Pembroke Campus is uniquely positioned to support the Forest industry given its long history of delivering a Forestry Technician program and deep connections to the sector. The work of our faculty and staff will benefit both jobseekers and employers in addressing the labour market challenges and workforce development needs of the forest industry. This is a clear example of the impact colleges have always had in ensuring industry has access to training that supports employment growth and retention within key sectors of Ontario’s economy.”

– Claude Brulé
President and CEO, Algonquin College

“The forestry industry is one of the top employers in the Kawartha Lakes region, and a shortage of skilled workers has a significant impact on the economy and recovery for our communities. Fleming has a long track record of producing fully-trained and sought-after graduates, and the delivery of this training is a natural extension of existing programming, infrastructure and expertise that we can build on. We thank the government for their support and look forward to growing our relationship with Algonquin College.”

– Maureen Adamson
President, Fleming College