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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Harper Government Helps Keep 750 Jobs in Windsor-Essex

Media Release: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Investments to Support Job Creation and Economic Growth

November 13, 2014 – Leamington, Ontario – Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

FedDev Ontario is providing up to $200,000 to the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation to support existing food processing businesses and attract investments to Windsor-Essex, and to maintain an estimated 750 full-time jobs in the sector. The investment was announced today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario, Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent-Essex, and Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex.

The funding will be used to undertake business retention and expansion activities in response to the closure of the local Heinz plant, in June 2014. The aim is to help the companies that previously dealt closely with the Heinz plant to diversify their customer base and product offerings.

FedDev Ontario's contribution is the first under the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative, which is aimed at attracting businesses, investments and jobs to southern Ontario's communities.

Quick Facts

  • This project provides a mitigation strategy to minimize the impact of the Heinz closure in Leamington by providing support to, and developing new revenue streams for, the affected suppliers in the region.
  • FedDev Ontario's contribution leverages a $200,000 investment from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
  • FedDev Ontario is currently accepting applications for funding through the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative from not-for-profit regional and community economic development organizations.
  • Since its creation in August 2009, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $1.2 billion, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,300 organizations and more than $1.5 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources to support businesses, organizations and communities in southern Ontario.


"This investment is a great example of how our Government stands behind the people and communities in this region that were hit hard by the economic downturn. I'm pleased this investment—a direct response to the closing of the local Heinz plant—will help the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation in diversifying its economy, creating opportunities and maintaining jobs."

– Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario

"This project means creating opportunities for the hard-working people and businesses in this community so they can grow and prosper. It is a clear example of how our Government is here to support those affected by the closing of the Heinz plant, and the region's food processing sector."

– Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent-Essex

"At a time when the global economic recovery is still soft, this investment will assist the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation in important initiatives to attract new business investment to Windsor-Essex, to create jobs and prosperity for local families, in both traditional and new sectors for the local economy."

– Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex

"Thanks to the FedDev Ontario funding we were able to get a number of key initiatives underway to mitigate the potential negative economic impact of the Heinz closure. With this additional funding we will continue to be in high gear within the food processing sector to continue with business retention, expansion and attraction activities in the Windsor-Essex region."

– Sandra Pupatello, Chief Executive Officer, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation


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