Conestoga news

April 22, 2014 1:31 PM

Manufacturing Leadership Council supports industry growth

A new Manufacturing Leadership Council recently announced for Waterloo Region will undertake a comprehensive set of initiatives to help ensure skilled and educated personnel are available to local area manufacturing firms to help improve their global competitiveness through innovation and growth.

The Council, a sub-committee of the Manufacturing Innovation Network, includes broad industry representation as well as representatives from the region’s public school board and post-secondary institutions. Other participants include the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and municipal governments of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

Activities of the Council will promote the importance of the manufacturing sector in the regional economy, build broader awareness of potential careers in the industry and improve linkages between school and workplace in the effort to build a strong talent pool as part of a new Manufacturing Talent Strategy.

“As firms strive to improve their global competitiveness, they need to focus on innovation and the talent that is needed to implement innovative technologies and processes,” said Barbara Fennessy, executive dean of Entrepreneurship & Applied Research at Conestoga College. “The Manufacturing Talent Strategy will enable manufacturers to identify current and emerging talent needs and strategies to address them, as well as providing opportunities for youth across our community to learn more about the many exciting career opportunities the sector offers.”

A second initiative of the Council is the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy to highlight the positive history and growth of manufacturing in the region.

These priorities were identified in the 2013 Manufacturing Action Plan developed through the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.

The Council will sponsor a special Manufacturing Day in October, 2014 to provide students and the general public with opportunities to visit local manufacturing plants and learn more about today’s industry.

The activities of the Council are supported by funding provided by Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities through the Labour Market Partnerships initiative. The Manufacturing Talent Strategy project is led by Conestoga College, in partnership with the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.

For more information on the Council and its activities:

Barbara Fennessy, Conestoga College, 519-748-5220 ext. 2294,
Carol Simpson, Workforce Planning Board, 519-622-7122,