Eastern Ontario shows even more of the right STUFF

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Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by Great River Media.
Learn more about STUFF Made and Built in Eastern Ontario here.

From retooling to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer, to keeping the supply chain moving, local manufacturers and builders have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, while many businesses have been hit hard, several regional manufacturers are expanding and looking to hire. 

That’s the underlying message behind the second issue of STUFF Made and Built in Eastern Ontario, an interactive digital and print publication and marketing campaign that explores opportunities in manufacturing and skilled trades in the region. The magazine showcases many of the exciting developments and opportunities in the sector. 

The 2020-21 edition highlights the fact that these industries are experiencing a skills shortage, especially with younger workers. The message and the stories of good-paying jobs and meaningful careers is not getting through.

STUFF 2020-21 helps bridge the information gap by conveying to a new generation of jobseekers, as well as those who may be facing a transition mid-career, that manufacturing and trades offer interesting and rewarding career opportunities in communities across Eastern Ontario.

“Unemployment is up because of the pandemic, and many people, including students, are wondering about their future,” says Terry Tyo, chief marketing officer at Great River Media, which publishes STUFF and other titles, including the Ottawa Business Journal. 

“We have so many incredible success stories locally that we wanted to bring together companies looking to hire, with people who perhaps haven’t considered the sector as a career choice.”

STUFF 2020-21 includes:

STUFF 2020-21 includes even more companies than the inaugural edition, profiling at least 35 and highlighting up to 40 others in a new directory. From Kingston to Renfrew County, Ottawa to Cornwall, exciting examples of Eastern Ontario’s manufacturing and building sectors are explored. 

The magazine also features two new partners: the Making it in Manufacturing Resource Network (MiiM) and the Eastern Ontario College Consortium (EOCC). 

Established by community and business partners to boost traditional and advanced manufacturing in Ottawa and the surrounding region, MiiM focuses on increasing awareness of local manufacturing capabilities, mapping its talent pathways and connecting regional stakeholders for collaboration. 

EOCC consists of Algonquin, Fleming, St. Lawrence, La Cité and Loyalist colleges, and delivers an exciting new Skills Advance Ontario project for the steel and aluminum manufacturing and metal fabrication sector in Ontario. 

“COVID-19 has, for companies and governments, underscored the importance of protecting their supply chains – not just from pandemics, but from international competition, and from protectionist behaviours by foreign governments,” says Kathyrn Leroux, acting executive director of business development at MiiM. 

“Now more than ever, it is important that we make products in Ontario and shine a light on those successful companies who are doing just that, whether it’s masks or metals, sanitizer or cell phone towers.” 

MiiM and EOCC join the Ottawa Employment Hub (OEH) and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) in partnering with Great River Media to produce STUFF. OEH is a local workforce planning board that gathers and shares data on the local labour market to identify and meet current and emerging skills needs. OCDSB has a program called the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), which develops skills with on-hand learning and offers industry-recognized certifications.

Project supporters include the City of Cornwall, the City of Kingston and the County of Renfrew. With their help, STUFF will reach all areas in the Eastern Ontario region. The magazine will be directly distributed to students at trade/vocational schools, community colleges and universities, guidance counsellors and SHSM students in high schools. It will also be distributed to regional workforce organizations and employment offices, plus more than 300 business outlets.