St. Clair metal cutting programs get $640K from province

Thursday, March 31, 2016

CBC News

St. Clair College, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Mould Makers, has received $640,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities to lead two precision metal cutting programs in 2016-17.

The pre-apprenticeship program is an opportunity for job seekers in Windsor-Essex to gain skills that are said to be in demand in the region.

"At a time when almost 22 per cent of our local youth are unemployed, this program offers an excellent opportunity to enter a well-paying career that is in high demand by numerous companies in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent," said Robert Chittim, chair of the School of Skilled Trades at St. Clair College. "If you do not think that there are opportunities, check out the lawn signs in front of the shops in Oldcastle" .

Students will complete the Level 1 General Machinist Apprenticeship in-school curriculum as well as 70 hours of "hands-on" CNC practical skills, combined with a 12-week industry work placement, all designed to meet current labour shortages and address local industries specific CNC and general machinist needs.

"The skilled trades training programs at St. Clair College are integral in developing our new employees to support our business growth.  They have been a valuable partner in helping us address the skilled trades shortages we have been experiencing in our industry," said Steve Renaud, vice-president of operations at CenterLine.

St. Clair says that as the local metal cutting industries diversify from automotive products into aerospace and other specialty industries, the need for skilled CNC programmers and operators and general machinists has increased.

Local employers have identified a need to hire additional precision metal cutting employees in the Windsor-Essex and Kent County regions.

"The metal cutters and manufacturing industry is a bright spot in the Canadian economy today and still has room to grow," said Jonathon Azzopardi, CAMM president. "Programs like the pre-apprenticeship program are helping to make this success story happen by attracting new talent and training our next generation work force."

The deadline to apply for the program is April 29. Anyone interested in learning more about the program can attend an information session at the open house on April 2 at St. Clair College's main campus.