WMC leads new Ontario program to train 72 woodworkers
June 30, 2021 | 12:01 pm CDT

PEMBROKE, Ontario – The Ontario government is partnering with the Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) to help 72 workers and jobseekers learn the necessary skills to get jobs in wood manufacturing.

The $885,000 training program is funded through SkillsAdvance Ontario, a government project that supports workforce development in identified key growth sectors.

The wood manufacturing program will train six trainee cohorts, with two cohorts each taking place in Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo and the greater Toronto area. The in-person training will include an introduction to hand tools, power tools, and woodworking machinery as well as safety rules and safety training. 

WMC is also developing a curriculum for the mass timber industry, using the existing Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum (WERC). 

“Training programs are essential to our mission of helping people find good jobs,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “With the right training, people can get a hand up into gainful life-long careers. Supporting innovative training projects in communities across the province is part of our plan to help people develop the in-demand skills they need to support their families and make their communities stronger.”

“The Wood Manufacturing Council is grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario for this initiative,” said Pete Fournier, chair of the WMC. “The opportunity to expose more people to the wood manufacturing sector, to provide them with a wide variety of skills and to connect them to employers who need good quality entry-level workers, is exciting and will be very beneficial. It continues WMC’s efforts to attract new people with the right skills to the many Ontario companies producing advanced wood products.”

There are approximately 80 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across Ontario, dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs. Industries served include hospitality and tourism; steel; construction; warehousing; and forestry, fishing and hunting; and cannabis.

SkillsAdvance Ontario funds partnerships that connect employers with the employment and training services required to recruit and advance workers with the right essential, technical, and employability skills. It also supports job seekers to obtain employment by providing them with sector-specific employment and training services and connecting them to the right employers.

SkillsAdvance Ontario projects provide the ministry the opportunity to test the effectiveness and efficiencies of sector-focused, partnership-based programming.

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Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.