The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Pam Damoff, member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, joined Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher at the Union’s head office and training campus in Oakville on Monday, March 15, to announce a substantial federal government investment in two projects.
Joining Gallagher and a limited number of guests for the announcement were Local 793 President Joe Redshaw, Treasurer/Executive Director of OETIO Rick Kerr, as well as OETIO apprentices and instructors. All COVID-19 safety protocols were adhered to for the event, including gathering limits, social distancing, mandatory face mask-wearing, and having hand sanitizer stations readily available.
“The overall objective of the funds is to improve the quality of training in the skilled trades and help tradespeople prepare for available jobs in the workforce as our economy continues to grow - especially post-pandemic,” Anand said.
Funding for the two projects comes through the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. It is part of the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) 2020 call for proposals that allocated $63.5 million over five years for 68 projects across Canada.
Both projects are funded 50 per cent through UTIP and 50 per cent through the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO).
The first project provides $698,000 to enable OETIO to purchase new equipment to ensure heavy equipment apprentices can meet the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Standards and evolving industry standards.
Heavy equipment upgrades include the purchase of a track excavator, a tractor-loader-backhoe, a bulldozer, and an autonomous remote-controlled excavator. These will allow OETIO to adapt to current technology and replace aging capital assets.