EMC launches reskilling / upskilling certification training

By Plant Magazine   

Business Operations Industry Operations Government certification Reskilling training upskilling

Ontario Manufacturers behind initiative that also delivers onboarding resources

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) – a unique national not-for-profit industry organization with over 13,000 consortium and online member manufacturers – today announced the launch of new and expanded reskilling and upskilling certification training and onboarding initiative, responding to increased demands by Ontario manufacturers.

Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC) -Reskilling / Upskilling and Onboarding Initiative is a proactive industry-driven initiative designed to address recruitment and retention challenges currently faced within Ontario’s manufacturing sector, addressing widespread skills and labour shortages which have been especially heightened due to the pandemic impacts of COVID-19.

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and JP Giroux, President of Excellence in Manufacturing, along with Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and MPP for Nepean and Claude Brulé, Algonquin College President and Chief Executive Officer discuss the $1,322,430 investment to help Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium train workers in London and Ottawa for new opportunities in the manufacturing sector. This project, being delivered in partnership with manufacturing employers, builds on successful programs led in eight communities across the province.

EMC is facilitating this initiative with funding support for manufacturers from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Skills Advance Ontario Program, with collaborative support by industry and community partners such as Fanshawe and Algonquin Colleges.

Cohorts Started Fall 2020

This Fall, the Reskilling/Upskilling initiative saw 74 learner-participants start MEC training, representing 19 different manufacturing organizations.  Upon completion, participating employers and employees developed enhanced abilities to upgrade their workforce skills, access broader employment opportunities and create new career path opportunities with small and medium-sized manufacturing employers.


EMC is excited to announce the partnerships developed so far in the manufacturing sector, and welcomes the following companies to Manufacturing Essentials Certification:  Parmerit, Inovata Foods, Means Transform Products, Davwire, Forest City Castings Inc., HUDSON, Braam’s Custom Cabinets, Hydra Dyne Technology, Brose Canada Inc., Diamond Aircraft Industries, Gincor Werx, Cavendish Farms, Advanced Drainage Systems, Resistance Welding Products Ltd., Jones Healthcare Group, Salford Group Inc., Trudell Medical International, and Windmill Cabinet Shop Ltd.

Jumping straight into the challenge

Will Holsappel, General Manager and Partner of Windmill Cabinet Shop Ltd has stated that “As a first-time participant of this program I am witnessing it to be a great compliment to our

‘Continuous Improvement Culture’. Our participants are enjoying the opportunity and are jumping straight into the challenge. It’s a well-structured program that’s clear to follow which is a huge burden lifted off of a business who would need to build this from scratch internally. This program is a great reinforcement to our participants that they have the power to make real change in our business. Since completing and graduating from the training our participants talk about how they apply the skills and concepts they learned to their daily work in the business”

The MEC Reskilling / Upskilling Stream includes tracks for both Production Workers and Supervisors, with additional pathways covering leadership, continuous improvement, health & safety and much more. These streams focus on the development of essential skills of incumbent workers; providing participants with the tools and skills they need to be successful within the workplace.

Helping business-owners find the skilled workers

“Individuals, families and workers across Ontario have struggled during the pandemic, and our government is helping them pursue new careers in manufacturing,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Training and retraining are essential for our economic recovery. By investing in people, we are helping business-owners find the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. This is truly a win-win.”

“By providing an important foundation of industry-driven essential skills training, reskilling / upskilling and onboarding support resources and mentorship,  EMC is seeking to pave the way for meaningful, sustained employment and create relationships that will mutually benefit both employers, employees and the available workforce for Ontario manufacturers” mentioned JP Giroux, EMC President

In addition to the innovative certification-based training and workplace performance projects provided by this initiative, EMC will also deliver an MEC Onboarding Resources Stream, focused on encouraging the development and delivery of employability and essentials skills with under-represented, unemployed and underemployed individuals who would like to pursue a meaningful and sustainable career in the manufacturing sector.

“We all know how important having a highly skilled work force is for our economy, both locally and on a provincial scale,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and MPP for Nepean. “This funding creates job opportunities in the National Capital and helps strengthen manufacturing in our region.”

This program is open to all Ontario manufacturers, with cohorts planned in Eastern, southwestern, Northern and Central regions.

For more information on how you can participate, please contact Project Coordinator Lisa Steudle at



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