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EMC launches reskilling certification training for production workers


JP Giroux, president of EMC (second from right), with representatives from the Ontario government and Algonquin College discuss the province's investment to help EMC train workers in London and Ottawa for new opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Photo: EMC

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) has launched a new reskilling and upskilling certification training and onboarding program.

The Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC) – Reskilling/Upskilling and Onboarding Initiative is designed to address recruitment and retention challenges in Ontario’s manufacturing sector.

Skills and labour shortages have been especially heightened due to the pandemic impacts of COVID-19.

The MEC reskilling/upskilling stream includes tracks for both production workers and supervisors, with additional sessions covering topics such as leadership, continuous improvement and health and safety.

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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.

In addition to the certification-based training and workplace performance projects provided by this initiative, EMC will also deliver an MEC onboarding resources stream, which is focused on encouraging the development and delivery of employability and essentials skills with under-represented, unemployed and underemployed individuals interested in manufacturing.

The first cohort in the program started in fall 2020 in London and Chatham, Ont. Seventy-four participants started the MEC training, representing 19 different manufacturing organizations.

“As a first-time participant of this program I am witnessing it to be a great compliment to our ‘Continuous Improvement Culture,'” says Will Holsappel, general manager and partner of Windmill Cabinet Shop, Ltd. “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.”

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.

This program is open to all Ontario manufacturers, with cohorts planned in eastern, southwestern, northern and central regions.

For more information on how to participate, contact Project Coordinator Lisa Steudle at lsteudle@emccanada.org.