ATS Automation has extended support at Conestoga with a $500,000 donation to the college’s new skilled trades campus.
Opening fall 2022 in Cambridge, the campus will deliver apprenticeship and post-secondary programs in the industrial/manufacturing and construction trades as the first phase of a multi-year plan. When fully realized, the state-of-the-art facility will modernize apprenticeship and skilled trades training through consolidation and expansion of the full complement of trades programs at a single location. Through a combination of financial and gift-in-kind contributions, ATS has committed support until 2026.
“We have a strong, long-term relationship with Conestoga,” said Andrew Hider, CEO of ATS. “As a growing company that operates in many critical industries, we are constantly looking for skilled workers who can bring their training and passion to help us achieve our goals. This donation will help students in the skilled trades through new direct and applied learning opportunities, as well as seeing how a company like ATS leverages technology and automation to create solutions for our customers.”
Ontario has an urgent need for more skilled trades professionals to support industry competitiveness and growth. According to industry estimates, the province will need more than 100,000 new skilled tradespeople within the next decade to replace a retiring workforce and support new developments in areas such as housing and transit to meet the demands of a growing population. The new Conestoga Skilled Trades Campus will be instrumental in the college’s efforts to raise the profile of skilled trades and attract broader, more diverse students to trades-based careers.
“As a company with significant size and scale, in addition to over 40 years of excellence in these fields, we have a great opportunity to help prepare the next generation of workers for their careers,” added Blair de Verteuil, President of ATS Life Sciences Systems. “Through both the financial and the in-kind donations, we will help remove barriers to learning and build a deeper understanding about working in automation.”
In recognition of the gift, ATS will receive naming rights to a 4,400-square-foot electro-mechanical automation maintenance shop at the new skilled trades campus.
“Conestoga and Ontario’s public colleges play a vital role in addressing workforce needs and in the prosperity and well-being of our communities,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We greatly appreciate this support from ATS, one of our key industry partners, in our efforts to provide more career-focused learning opportunities for students as they prepare for successful careers and futures.”
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Conestoga is a provincial leader in the delivery of trades and apprenticeship training to serve industry needs and the growing community. Comprehensive programming includes a wide range of programs that provide pathways to employment in skilled trades careers as well as pre-apprenticeship training and in-school training for apprentices. For more information, visit the School of Trades & Apprenticeship.