$3.5 Million in FedNor and NOHFC Announced in Geraldton

$3.5 million in funding announced by Minister Greg Rickford and Minister Michael Gravelle
$3.5 million in funding announced by Minister Greg Rickford and Minister Michael Gravelle
$3.5 million in funding announced by Minister Greg Rickford and Minister Michael Gravelle
$3.5 million in funding announced by Minister Greg Rickford and Minister Michael Gravelle

Rickford and Gravelle Team Up for Jobs Announcement

GERALDTON – NEWS – Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and FedNor, and Minister responsible for the Ring of Fire, and Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and Chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, are in Geraldton today, Monday, January 20, 2014.

Greg Rickford MP
Minister Greg Rickford MP Kenora

The two Ministers are announcing $3.5 million in funding to help address regional labour needs and realize employment opportunities. Minister Rickford stated, “Our government is committed to equipping Canadians with the right skills to capitalize on job opportunities created by economic growth in their regions. By establishing a regional skills centre right here in Greenstone, we’re helping people in Northern Ontario access jobs in the construction, mining and forestry industries, and making sure they have the right skill set to respond to these new market demands to further strengthen economic growth and ensure the long-term sustainable prosperity of our communities.”

Michael Gravelle MPP
Minister Michael Gravelle MPP

Rickford’s enthusiasm was endorsed by Minister Gravelle.  Minister Gravelle stated, “I’m incredibly pleased our government is supporting such a tremendous facility right here in Greenstone. We are seeing exciting new economic development opportunities in the northwest; mineral exploration activity is increasing and a number of new mine developments are set to come online in the next few years, boosting the regional economy and creating jobs. It’s crucial that we build a workforce that can meet both the demand and skills required, not only for the mining industry but across all sectors, including emerging sectors, all key to supporting a strong and diverse northern economy.”

The Government of Canada and the Ontario Government will each invest $1,750,000 to enable the Geraldton Community Forest (GCF) to build a regional skills training centre at the Greenstone airport. The facility, which will serve as a hub for regional labour force training opportunities, will house 10 training rooms, a series of meeting rooms, a computer lab and offices. GCF is a not-for-profit organization whose goals include creating employment opportunities that support the local economy.

The project has been identified as a regional priority, this strategic initiative is expected to create or retain 27 jobs, as well as another 30 construction jobs.

Greenstone Mayor Renald Beaulieu says, “This project to be undertaken by Geraldton Community Forest is a priority for the region. The centre will address labour market demands while the trainee traffic it generates will benefit the businesses in town.”

“Given our relative proximity to the Ring of Fire, this facility will help us meet the labour force needs right here in our own region while accommodating external training program providers. Ultimately, by enhancing the skills of area residents, it will make it easier for businesses to establish or expand their operations and create jobs in this region,” added Sam Drajanoff the Chair of the Geraldton Community Forest.

Minister Gravelle and Minister Rickford are expected to discuss, as well recent developments in the Ring of Fire. In the last part of 2013, Minister Gravelle announced the creation of a Ring of Fire Development Corporation.

Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle at Prince Arthur Hotel
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle at Prince Arthur Hotel

The move by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry was, when announced not initially endorsed or supported by the federal government. In meetings between the two Ministers, it is expected the issue of co-ordination of efforts on a more even basis will be discussed.

Quick Facts

  • Once complete, this 13,500-square-foot facility owned and operated by GCF, will serve as a centre for  training and skills development in the region and assist in realizing employment opportunities from the Ring of Fire and other resource development activity in the area.
  • The Government of Canada funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
  • Ontario is supporting this project through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).  With a focus on jobs and the economy the NOHFC is a key driver of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, designed to build on the North’s key existing and emerging sectors.

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