The Ontario government says it is providing more than $3.4 million to four central Ontario manufacturing companies to help expand operations and create new jobs in the region.
On Wednesday, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, announced the funding for the Regional Development Program which serves eastern and southwestern Ontario. Businesses and municipalities can get financial support through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF).
Fedeli said funding through the EODF will be distributed to these companies, which are currently investing a combined $23.5 million to expand their respective operations:
- $2.8 million to Premier Tech Home & Garden Inc. to create 52 jobs between its facilities in Brighton in Northumberland County and in St. Isidore in Prescott and Russell County.
The company is investing $18 million at the facilities which in Brighton will see the return of some production in-house that had been previously sub-contracted. The St. Isidore facility will be redeveloped into what the company says will become the largest production centre in the country of soils, mixes, compost and ground covers. The company plans to invest $47 million over the next five years.
“Premier Tech is invested in the development of the regions in which it operates,” president Martin Pelletier said Wednesday.
“The project we are announcing today will not only modernize our plants to make them state-of-the-art facilities, but also confirms our desire to make a difference in the community by maintaining and creating new jobs.”
Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini says the company’s expansion bolds well for the Brighton community.
“Make no mistake, we have a choice to make — we can either do nothing and sit back — which was done in the past and watch manufacturing jobs flee our community — Kraft employees (in Cobourg) know that well,” he said. “Or you can invest and work with industry. That’s a good return on investment for the tax dollars at work right here in Brighton. And it’s creating jobs — 52 men and women who will join the lines with the 30,000 men and women who woke up this morning with a new manufacturing job thanks to the work of Minister Fedeli and the premier. And this is exciting for our community.”
- $327,650 to Kawartha Metals Corp. to create 12 jobs.
The Peterborough company is investing nearly $3.28 million for new equipment to expand its range of products and services. The company supplies steel, aluminum, brass and plastics in over 5,000 sizes and grades.
“As a result of EODF funding, Kawartha Metals was able to purchase and install a Voortman high-definition plasma structural steel robotic plasma machine capable of processing nearly any kind of shape that needs to be produced,” said company president Tom Elliott.
“This created new jobs and improved processes to make Kawartha Metals more competitive in Ontario and for the manufacturers that export globally that we supply to.”
- $195,252 to support Colonial Log & Timber Inc. in Lindsay to create three jobs.
The company manufactures log and timber framing components and is investing $1.3 million to fully automate its manufacturing process to double production from 25 to 50 home kits per year.
“This funding has given Colonial Concepts Log & Timberframe the opportunity to purchase a six-axis Hundegger machine to help evolve our family business and become more automated,” said Ken Moore company CEO.
“We will become more efficient, which will allow us to expand more into the international market creating a greater number of projects and business, thus opening up more job opportunities in our company.”
- $110,000 will support Bélair Mechatronics Inc. (Kawartha Controls) in Omemee to create five new jobs.
The company designs and manufactures hydraulic manifolds, other fluid power components and robotic auxiliary equipment. The company is investing $901,000 in new equipment and robotics to scale up its smart manufacturing processes and increase production to meet growing demand.
“This funding enabled us to start the process of scaling our business and put us in a good position at the start of the pandemic to maintain that momentum,” said CEO Rob Bélair.
“Over the past two years, we have created 15-plus high-value jobs for our local economy, successfully attracted top talent to relocate to the area and created opportunities for our team members to advance their skill set and gain valuable experience in an advanced manufacturing environment.”
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Fedeli said the Regional Development Program continues to support local manufacturers through targeted investments that allow businesses to create good local jobs. He thanked each company for “making a significant impact in their communities and for contributing to our province’s dynamic and growing manufacturing sector.”
Fedeli said the province is distributing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges. The province says the program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create jobs