Provincial investment supports Quinte Economic Development Commission’s skills training initiatives


FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2022

BAY OF QUINTE – The Ontario government will provide $1,323,670 to support the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC) to address workforce challenges, complex business conditions and new opportunities in Bay of Quinte’s growing, diverse manufacturing sector and industrial supply chain.

Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that QEDC is receiving funding through the Province’s Skills Development Fund for its Future Factory Skills Initiative.  The program will address workforce needs in the local manufacturing sector through:

  • Removing barriers to employment and providing skills training through Elevate Plus training program to support 40 individuals looking to enter the manufacturing sector;
  • Supporting 760 incumbent workers in the sector to enhance and modernize their skills;
  • Providing advisory services to manufacturing leadership teams focused on worker recruitment and retention, process improvements and overcoming growth barriers.

“Manufacturing provides good, well-paying jobs and is a leading driver of economic growth and prosperity in our communities. Local manufacturers also ensure we have access to many high-quality goods we use in our daily lives,” said Smith. “There is great opportunity in this sector and our government recognizes the collaborative effort led by QEDC with industry and training partners will yield results in developing the workforce necessary to meet its needs.”

To deliver the program, QEDC will leverage the expertise of the Quinte Manufacturers Association in sharing industry standards and employer contacts, and primarily engage Loyalist College’s corporate training division, the Loyalist Training and Knowledge Centre to train participants.

Chris King, QEDC’s Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the program approval.

“The Bay of Quinte Region’s large and diverse manufacturing sector offers 10,000 good paying jobs and provides over half of the region’s economic output,” said King. “The Skills Development Fund will support new hire training for individuals that want jobs in manufacturing through the highly successful Elevate Plus program delivered in partnership with Loyalist College.   The program will also assist workers and manufacturers with support of training costs that promote technology, innovation and improved performance.  We express our thanks to the Province and Minister Smith for recognizing the importance of manufacturing to our region and providing relevant and timely funding to support this sector.”

Chandy Davis, Chair of the Quinte Manufacturers Association, was also pleased with the investment.

“I wish to express the appreciation of the manufacturers in the Bay of Quinte for the government’s support to train over 800 job seekers and incumbent workers for careers in manufacturing,” said Davis. “This funding will help us with training for areas such as technology adoption, improved productivity and increasing employee engagement and satisfaction.”

JBS Foods Ontario Ltd. has been a partner in delivering practical skills training through Elevate Plus previously and has benefitted from hiring graduates from the program. General Manager Alan Cook was pleased to learn the program will be continuing.

“JBS Foods Ontario is fortunate to be a key employer partner for Elevate Plus, the job seeker portion of this funding. Elevate Plus has helped us access untapped portions of the labour market. We have found that the Elevate Plus staff’s level of engagement to support job seekers helps prepare them for a career in manufacturing,” said Cook.

The Skills Development Fund has provided more than $200 million in funding for innovative projects that address challenges to hiring, training, or retaining workers during the pandemic.

“Our government is working for workers every day. Through our Skills Development Fund, we’re giving workers the training they need to fill in-demand jobs, earn bigger paycheques and advance in rewarding careers that make their families and communities stronger,” said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton.


  • For more information about registering in the 30th cohort of the Elevate Plus Manufacturing program, interested individuals can visit At that website, there is also information available about Elevate Plus Military training programs aimed at skills development and employment for veterans, military spouses and family members.
  • Data suggests the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons in Ontario were aged 55 or older.
  • In the fall of 2021, there were more than 360,000 jobs vacant in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
  • In addition to the Future Factory Skills Initiative, this year, the Skills Development Fund is also supporting local programs at Quinte Immigration Services ($813,453), the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council ($574,236), CMHA-HPE ($546,364), and Youth Habilitation Quinte Inc. ($162,936).