QUEEN’S PARK — The Ontario government is partnering with auto part companies to invest in technology and training to strengthen the auto industry and protect jobs.
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, launched the new $10 million Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) at the annual meeting, September 9, of the Canadian Association of Moldmakers.
O-AMP is a key commitment of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector, Ontario’s 10-year vision for how industry, the research and education sector, and all three levels of government, can work together to strengthen the auto sector’s competitiveness.
“Our comprehensive, high-quality and innovative supply chain is an essential part of why Ontario is a great place to build vehicles,” said Fedeli. “The launch of the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program further strengthens our close partnership with the industry to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”
“This is another example of the steps are government is taking to protect current jobs and create conditions for companies to expand and hire more workers,” said Jim McDonell, Member of Provincial Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
The new program invests with small- and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers in projects that fall under one or both of the following categories:
- Technology adoption ― includes advanced manufacturing hardware, software and/or training to improve processes and enhance competitiveness. For example, projects could include investments in production technology allowing firms to digitize their production tracking and logistical systems.
- Lean manufacturing ― includes projects that support training in lean manufacturing practices to minimize waste during the production process and optimize productivity.
- O-AMP funding will cover up to 50 percent of eligible project costs up to $100,000 with recipient companies contributing the remainder through their own resources. Funding for O-AMP is $10 million over three years.
- More than 100,000 people are directly employed in Ontario’s auto industry with about two thirds of those jobs in the auto parts sector.
- Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build vehicles — Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota — as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
- More than 200 Ontario companies are developing connected and autonomous vehicle technologies in the province.