SASKATOON – The new Saskatchewan Manufacturing Centre of Excellence has been launched to boost the province’s competitiveness within its industry. The launch coincides with the proclamation of province’s ninth annual manufacturing week.
A memorandum of understanding was signed Monday morning between the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to formally establish the centre in Saskatoon.
Located at Sask Polytech’s campus, the Centre of Excellence will focus on training, thought leadership and the sharing of best practices to the future workforce of the Saskatchewan manufacturing sector.
“We offer programs in mechanical engineering technology, business, welding, industrial mechanics, that lead to careers in the manufacturing sector,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy has committed $1.5 million over the next three years towards the centre.
“Success in today’s competitive manufacturing arena is a lot like success in football – it requires a skilful and well-coached team, a good game plan, and near-flawless execution,” said Derek Lothian , CME vice president.
“Saskatchewan manufacturers have a global reputation for quality and reliability, but the competition is stiffer now than ever before. This centre will grant us home field advantage when we need it most.”
The ministry is also working with CME to develop its programming. Other organizations providing support include Athabasca University and the National Research Council of Canada.
There is an intention of creating a new online manufacturing management certificate through the centre with the first intake slated for April 2015.
From Monday to Friday, Saskatchewan manufacturing week showcases the province’s 28,500 manufacturing workforce, achievements and the sector’s training and career opportunities.
According to the government, nearly 2,000 companies in the province accounted for around $15 billion in manufacturing sales last year.