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Ontario invests $2.8M for new technologies at three Barrie-area companies


Ontario is providing more than $2.8 million to three companies in Barrie, Ont. to implement new automation technologies and create jobs.

The funding is part of a total investment of $19.6 million by local businesses and the Ontario government, which will strengthen domestic manufacturing and commercialization, attract investment, create 72 jobs, and help retain over 280 jobs in the Barrie area.

Tempo Plastics Limited, a manufacturer of custom printed flexible packaging for lawn and garden and food processors and member of the Canada Plastics Pact, is investing more than $14.4 million to expand its facility and acquire new technology.

With $2.2 million from the province administered through its Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Tempo Plastics is creating 26 jobs and retaining 144. This investment will increase production capacity and replace manual, repetitive tasks in the operation, the company says. The enhanced productivity and innovation will allow the company to expand into new markets.

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Tempo works closely with several post-secondary institutions including Georgian College, Humber College and Ryerson University to recruit interns and new graduates to fill open positions in the growing company.

Matsu Manufacturing Inc., a manufacturer of automotive parts and metal stamping, is investing over $2.6 million in new equipment that it says will improve its operations and open up new market opportunities.

With $266,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, the first phase of this project will create 24 jobs and retain 137.

Matsu will purchase new assembly and stamping equipment, including a transfer press, robots, welding cells, turntables and conveyors – in addition to making modifications and upgrades to its facility. The company says this investment will enable it to undertake larger and more complex stampings and secure additional long-term contracts.

With the second phase of the project, another 26 high-skilled jobs are expected to be created in the region.

The final $375,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is going to Volatus Flight Systems Inc., a new Ontario-based company that’s investing $2.5 million to establish an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Centre of Excellence at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport. The investment will create 22 jobs at a 32,000 square-foot facility fitted new equipment, including a data processing centre, satellite communications technology, drone delivery system and drone taxi station.

The Ontario government launched the Regional Development Program for eastern and southwestern Ontario in November 2019. Businesses and municipalities can access financial support through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF).