Conestoga will soon establish a new training facility in Ingersoll, with an initial focus on electrical utilities training, advanced manufacturing technologies and skilled trades programming. The expectation is that the new, 12,000 sq. ft. facility will be open in the spring of 2010.
The major funding for the project -- $3.3 million -- comes from the federal government’s Community Adjustment Fund. The purpose of this fund is to address the short-term impact of the global recession on Canadian communities. It supports projects that create jobs and maintain employment in and around communities that have experienced job losses and lack employment opportunities.
Announcement of the Ingersoll project was made at Conestoga’s Doon campus in Kitchener on August 27.
The Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and MP for Cambridge, announced the federal funding, stating that such investments will create jobs and strengthen southern Ontario's economy.
"Our region has a strong reputation for innovation," he said. "I look forward to working with the people, businesses and communities of southern Ontario to help our region prosper now and in the future."
The Ingersoll project is the result of a partnership involving Conestoga, Town of Ingersoll Mayor Paul Holbrough, Oxford MP Dave MacKenzie, Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman, the Electrical Utilities Safety Association of Ontario, CRU Solutions, Erie Thames Powerlines, Ontario Manufacturers Skills Development, Ingersoll’s Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Association, and the Ingersoll Learning and Employment Centre. This latter agency will move its operations into the new Conestoga facility.
Conestoga President John Tibbits said, "We are pleased to be part of this joint venture with the Town of Ingersoll, which will allow us to offer programs not currently available in southwestern Ontario. This will assist unemployed Ontarians and youth in search of future career opportunities, as well as adults transitioning into new careers."
Conestoga expects that the first areas of programming will be in the fields of power line technician, computer numerical control programming and fork lift/reach lift operator.
The Ingersoll project will produce local economic activity in the form of construction, student-generated economic impact, and the salaries and wages to be earned by employed graduates.
As the training centre develops, Conestoga anticipates adding more full-time training as well as continuing education opportunities.