Cambrian College's applied research department receivd and influx of nearly $2-million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation on July 15.
Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano made the announcement, his first as minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
The funds helped the applied research department buy a number of new pieces of equipment including an industrial 3D printer, a 5-axis milling machine, a water jet cutter and a chemical analytical suite.
This state-of-the-art equipment will help Cambrian boost its capacity and capabilities in such fields as mining, advanced prototyping, electronics and chemical engineering.
The funds will also allow Cambrian to expand upon its already state-of-the-art building, as well as hire five new full-time technicians and 12 new part-time researchers.
"Cambrian College is a leader in training, research and development, and an important contributor to Sudbury's economy,” Romano said. “It's critical that we train our people for the jobs of tomorrow, and to be able to have the best possible training with the best possible equipment means they'll get the best possible jobs moving forward.”
Romano also announced $484,000 for two apprenticeship skilled trades projects, offered specifically for women. The money is part of an expanded investment into the pre-apprenticeship training program to $18.3 million — an increase of $5 million over the previous year.
A pre-apprenticeship carpentry project is being offered in partnership with Whitefish River First Nation, where 14 students are receiving eight weeks of carpentry training plus a two-week introduction to the electrical heating, ventilation and air conditioning trade.
All trades training takes place on Whitefish River First Nation using Cambrian's mobile trades trailer. Students will take part in an eight-week placement with local employers, and the project will be completed this fall.
A pre-apprenticeship welding program will accommodate 16 students at Cambrian's campus in Sudbury.
Students will learn welding fundamentals and receive certification for working at heights and confined spaces, hoisting and rigging, ladder handling, and lift truck operation, among other training. This includes 30 hours of HVAC training and an eight-week job placement. The program begins in September.
Romano said he got into politics because he wanted to see more opportunities for people to get into the jobs of tomorrow.
“This is an opportunity for people to get the skills that will translate into getting into apprenticeship programs, so when they do get into the program, they are already prepared for the job,” Romano said. “Our government knows that employers are looking for job-ready people to help fill vacancies in the skilled trades.”
Cambrian president Bill Best said the funding is a step in the direction of making sure Cambrian, as well as other colleges in the North, are known for excellence, in what those colleges do, in the experience of students and the jobs they get when they're done.