Fed Grant In-Hand, Provincial Cash Pursued

fed grant

St. Clair received one significant grant from the federal government this week, and geared up to apply for new funding being offered by the provincial government.

Contributed by the Federal Government

Canada’s colleges play an important role in research and innovation across the country. That’s why the federal government is funding partnerships between colleges and companies to help provide local students with training opportunities and jobs, while growing local and regional economies.

Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, recently announced investments to support 94 forward-thinking partnerships to address challenges that affect all Canadians, locally and nationally. These projects will receive over $45 million through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program and the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF).

Across Canada, this investment will advance research and innovation for years to come, and delivers on the Government of Canada’s historic commitment to science. Budget 2018 included $140 million in additional funding for the CCI program over five years, and $30 million a year ongoing after that. That means that the CCI program will be funding more lab equipment, more research partnerships with businesses and entrepreneurs, and more learning and training opportunities for students.

St. Clair College has received $150,000 for a 3D Innovation Lab for Applied Manufacturing.

The funds will be used to equip the college’s 3D Innovation Lab with a 3D metal printer and a composite materials (carbon fibre, fiberglass, and kevlar) 3D printer, and a seven-axis robotic arm with an integrated 3D scanner.

This equipment will provide local businesses with the opportunity to take part in applied research projects with low-risk capital investment, to help test and justify further 3D printing and 3D scanning technologies adoption, discover technology return on investments, and identify unique customer value and competitive advantages.

St. Clair College's applied research and educational programs are catalysts to industry innovation and commercialization; and the proposed equipment will be essential to regional and national success in advanced manufacturing innovation.

The college’s applied research program is strongly aligned with the manufacturing industry needs in Windsor-Essex - the largest economic sector in Windsor-Essex, and Canada's most manufacturing-intense region. With the growth rate of advanced manufacturing rapidly increasing, it is essential that St. Clair College support local businesses with regards to innovation and global competitiveness through applied research and student training.

As the school develops a 3D Innovation Lab for Advanced Manufacturing, housed in the Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing, that will include 3D printing and 3D scanning capabilities. 3D printing will provide new applied research project capabilities in advanced manufacturing product and process design through rapid prototyping, direct digital manufacturing of end-use parts, rapid tooling, and tool, die, and mold design and manufacturing. 3D scanning is a complementary technology to 3D printing, that will provide new applied research project opportunities in advanced metrology to test the advantages gained by 3D printing applications. 3D scanning also has inherent advantages in regards to part inspection, reverse engineering, and laser alignments that are highly accurate, efficient, reliable and digitally integrated - supporting current industry needs of automation, preventative maintenance, and real-time self-evaluation of individual processing components.

“On campuses across the country, colleges are pursuing exciting research opportunities and, at the same time, helping companies enhance their products and processes, bringing promising ideas to the marketplace,” Duncan said. “With research areas ranging from advanced manufacturing to artificial intelligence, the projects being funded today will have real-life benefits for all Canadians.”

“NSERC is proud of its role as a convenor and enabler of innovation-driven activities that help businesses compete and thrive through interactions with colleges and polytechnics. Today’s recipients also exemplify how researchers are effective at closely aligning their activities with regional needs to strengthen their communities,” commented Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation noted, “Partnerships between business and industry and colleges and polytechnics play an essential role in enabling Canada to compete successfully in the global economy. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is proud to support these excellent initiatives through the College-Industry Innovation Fund.”

“Manufacturing industries throughout this region will benefit immensely from the new research and testing capabilities made possible by the federal funding of this new equipment at the college,” said St. Clair President Patti France. “Additionally, the opportunity for our students to be involved with this hands-on research will provide them with cutting-edge abilities which they will carry with them into the employment marketplace.”

Since its launch in 2009, the CCI program has invested more than $492 million in 2,900 projects at post-secondary institutions across Canada.


Contibuted by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Ontario's government is helping individuals across the province prepare for successful careers in the skilled trades, so employers can get the skilled workers they need to make Ontario open for business.

"Ontario is open for business again. With one in five new jobs expected to be in trades-related occupations by 2021, we need to train more skilled workers to keep our economy strong," said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "These programs get people ready for a rich and rewarding education and career in the skilled trades, by making them ready to work as apprentices."

Each year, Ontario colleges and other community partners offer local training for people considering careers in the trades through the province's Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.

Pre-apprenticeship training helps people develop the trade-specific knowledge, job skills and work experience they need to get good jobs in high-demand trades.

Local programs offer opportunities for training and experience that make Ontarians ready to work in trades-related jobs and to be hired as apprentices. These programs promote careers in the trades for all Ontarians, including new Canadians, women and Indigenous people.

The government is investing $13.2 million to provide pre-apprenticeship training to approximately 1,200 people. Applications for funding to deliver programs are open now. Programs selected to provide training will be notified in January, 2019 for projects to start in 2019. Approved programs last up to one year, and often combine Level One apprenticeship training with a work placement, free training, textbooks, safety equipment and tools.

As is customary when such funding opportunities are announced, St. Clair will be applying for some of the new pre-apprenticeship funding. In the past, it has offered such training in the disciplines of general machinist, brick and stone masonry, and truck and coach mechanics.


trades study

Contributed by Dr. Jon Callegher of George Brown College

A 2018 study of 986 workers in the skilled trades reveals that they are among the happiest workers in Canada.

The report, entitled “Trading Up: Why the Future of Education in Canada Must be Skilled”, provides evidence for why careers in the skilled trades should be described as “highly fulfilling” in higher education conversations, especially given the country’s desperate need for skilled workers in the industrial sector.

“Compared to the general working population, tradespeople are much more likely to have fun at work and to feel like they can be themselves. They also have more freedom to be an entrepreneur or work anywhere in the world,” said Project Director Dr. Jon Callegher of George Brown College. “But most importantly, they feel a much stronger sense of accomplishment and purpose. This can’t be underestimated given the amount of time we spend at our jobs and our individual desire for meaning in life.”

While the report is written for an audience of educators, administrators, and students, Callegher hopes it also reaches immigrant parents, who are more likely than their domestic counterparts to view jobs in the trades as “low status”.

The report reveals that 64 percent of tradespeople believe they have “really accomplished something worthwhile” through their work, compared with 47 percent of the general working population. They are also more likely to report that their work gives them a “sense of success and achievement” (68 percent vs. 49 percent) and “a lot of satisfaction” (65 percent vs. 48 percent). As well, 60 percent of tradespeople report “often having fun” while working, compared with 43 percent of other working Canadians.

“But what parents — immigrants and domestic — may not realize is that careers in the skilled trades are much less stressful and allow for greater work-life balance than jobs in other sectors, in addition to being secure and well-paying,” said Callegher.

The need to promote the skilled trades in a new light inspired the creation of a YouTube series that Callegher calls “Job Talks”. His research team travelled across Ontario to film tradespeople talking passionately about their jobs and editing the interviews into short, high impact videos for educators, counsellors, and trainers to share with students and parents.

“The response from educators and students has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Callegher. “It’s really captivating when you can see and hear the passion in someone’s voice when they talk about their work.” The video series continues to grow, which hundreds of subscribers and over 65,000 views.

“For our researchers, the community acts as an extension of the classroom,” said Krista Holmes, Director of Research and Innovation at George Brown. “Our social innovation projects build a lasting bridge between the college and these communities that surround them. Job Talks is a prime example of this principle in action: the project has taken raw data and mobilized it to tell a meaningful story of workplace fulfillment and change the way we view the trades.”

The study was conducted through funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) and from the CWB Welding Foundation. Project partners also included GBC’s Office of Research & Innovation, Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies, Q.i. Value Systems, Skills Ontario, and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.

Callegher’s newest initiative is Job Talks Construction, a deep-dive survey of construction industry workers in Ontario in partnership with the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), the Ontario Residential Council of Construction Associations (ORCCA), and the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance (OSTA).

To download the Trading Up report and view the video series, visit www.jobtalks.org