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AIME reopens application process for funding Ontario manufacturers’ training programs


November 30, 2009
By André Voshart

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Innovative small and medium-sized manufacturers will benefit from an initiative to provide southern Ontario workers with advanced technological education and skills training. Minister of State Gary Goodyear announced a $12-million investment in the Yves Landry Foundation’s Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) Initiative Monday at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. New AIME applications will be accepted until Jan 15, 2010 — for details about eligibility, see below.

"Our government is acting quickly to stimulate the economy, create jobs and support the people and industries of southern Ontario," Goodyear said. "This investment will provide the advanced skills training that workers need so that manufacturers can innovate.

VIDEO: Watch our announcement coverage:

Through the AIME Initiative, the Yves Landry Foundation will fund up to 75 percent of a project’s total direct and indirect eligible cost up to a maximum of $50,000. Examples of eligible skill training projects include developing new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools to support innovation; and retraining to use new technologies, new manufacturing methods, or new processes or procedures that improve competitiveness.

These new funds will benefit eligible small- and-medium-sized manufacturers in southern Ontario by accelerating commercialization, attracting and retaining talent, developing growth for new and existing firms, and creating leading-edge jobs.

"We are delighted to be working with the Government of Canada on this important partnership project," said Michael Sherrard , Yves Landry Foundation chair. "This is vital funding, which will promote and support innovation within the manufacturing sector, and the adaption of new technologies in southern Ontario. We are grateful to the federal government for its outstanding commitment and vision.

In a conversation with Yves Landry Foundation executive director Karyn Brearley after the anouncement, she said she was thrilled with the new infusion of funds. In the previous round of funding, which began accepting applications in October 2008 and closed earlier than anticipated in August 2009, the foundation financed close to 750 manufacturers’ training projects, and she says the current dollars are enough to help 250 to 300 more. The projects, she explains, must be based in innovation and go directly to training employees at eligible facilities. She encourages anyone who qualifies to take part and says her team at the foundation is open to helping anyone fine tune their application.

Preliminary applications can be submitted electronically in PDF, Word and Excel formats at any time prior to Jan. 1, 2010. The foundation will provide feedback within 10 business days. Full proposals must be received no later than Jan. 15, 2010.

This investment comes from the $55-million intake process under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP), which is open until Dec. 1. The SODP was established to promote economic development, economic diversification, job creation and sustainable communities in Southern Ontario. It is just one in a series of initiatives introduced in the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan designed to address the short-term effects of the economic decline on communities across Canada, while preparing our communities for long-term growth. Overall funding for the SODP is $100 million in 2009 – ’10.

For more information on the SODP and details regarding the intake processes, please visit the FedDev Ontario web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca. For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.ca.

Achieving Innovation & Manufacturing Excellence (AIME)

The Yves Landry Foundation was established by leaders in Canada’s manufacturing and business sectors in 1998, to advance technological education and skills training to resolve the skilled labour and technical professional shortages facing Canadian industry. The Foundation is governed by a board of directors comprised of senior leaders from industry, education and the NGO sectors.

Features of the Program:

Through the AIME Initiative, the Yves Landry Foundation (YLF) is making available up to $50,000 per company in the form of a grant to foster training that will lead to advancements in innovation within the manufacturing sector in Ontario.

Project Eligibility:

Specific funding will be provided for two major objectives:

Objective One – Training that will support the adaptation of new technology, new processes or procedures or a change within the company to support innovation. If a manufacturing company is adopting an innovative new process or concept in any area of its business, funding can be provided to share in the cost of retraining all employees involved.

Objective Two – Training that will support and develop highly skilled personnel in any area that leads to innovation. This can include the development of new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools necessary to support innovation; retraining to embrace new technologies, new manufacturing methods; or any other business area that will make an Ontario manufacturing company more competitive in the global marketplace.

Eligible Applicants:

This funding is open to all Ontario manufacturing companies in all segments that meet the following criteria:

    -   Between 15 - 1500 employees.
    -   Continuously in business in Ontario for at least three years.
    -   Must be able to demonstrate a solid financial footing.


    -   Manufacturing facility or facilities located in southern Ontario
        (please refer to map on website outlining coverage area).
    -   Manufacture a specific product for sale in Ontario or elsewhere.

Preliminary applications can be submitted electronically in PDF, Word and Excel formats at any time prior to Jan. 1, 2010. YLF will provide feedback within 10 business days. Full proposals must be received no later than Jan. 15, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.yveslandryfoundation.com or contact the AIME team at (416) 620-5464.