Experts, leaders, politicians gather for Canadian manufacturing conference

Tuesday November 10, 2009
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
As talk begins of an apparent easing in the turmoil of the global financial crisis, an integral part of Canada's economy, the manufacturing sector, still faces challenges. The revitalization of the manufacturing industry is essential to the country's global competitiveness which is why the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University brought together manufacturing industry experts, finance leaders and politicians to discuss strategies for the sector's future success at its Revitalizing Canadian Manufacturing Conference. Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello, is participating as a panelist and is also speaking on behalf of Premier Dalton McGuinty. "We are seeing a transformation within the manufacturing sector — and with our highly-skilled workforce and culture of innovation — Ontario is poised to compete and win, she said. "We anticipate a robust, modern manufacturing sector that will continue to create good jobs and world-class products." Other participants at the manufacturing conference include Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada; Buzz Hargrove, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University and former Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) President; John Galt, president and CEO of Husky Injection Molding Systems; Jayson Myers, president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME); Gordon Nixon, president and CEO of RBC; Jim Stanford, Economist, CAW and Jim de Wilde, Executive-in-Residence, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. "We recognize that the manufacturing industry continues to face challenges," said Ken Jones, dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management. "The conference is a great opportunity for our students to directly learn from and contribute ideas to politicians and leaders in the manufacturing and finance industry." "We need to make things if you want to have a strong economy," said Hargrove, who is moderating the conference. "This is a critical conference that will bring key decision makers in the manufacturing, finance and political arenas together to raise awareness about the value of the manufacturing sector and to discuss solutions instead of washing our hands of the situation." The event explored a variety of issues and successes in the Canadian and global manufacturing sector. The morning session titled Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Manufacturing included discussions about the current state of Canadian manufacturing and attempt to answer if there is a future for traditional manufacturing in Canada. Also on the morning agenda was a dialogue about attracting and retaining top talent and green manufacturing. The afternoon portion, called Global Opportunities for Canadian Manufacturing Firms, tackled issues such as how Canadian manufacturers can effectively compete against other current and up-and-coming manufacturing powerhouses such as Germany and China. The relationship with the U.S., free trade and trade pacts were also hot topics. The Ted Rogers School of Management is committed to connecting industry, not-for-profit organizations and government with students and faculty to explore central economic issues and assist in developing strategies to address the topics. The Revitalizing Canadian Manufacturing conference is one in a series of management conferences looking at challenges and successes of various sectors. www.ryerson.ca/manufacturing

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