New Partnership Enhances Skills Training for Northern Youth - Duke Energy

News Release
November 08, 2005

New Partnership Enhances Skills Training for Northern Youth

NOHFC, Union Gas and FedNor Join In New Investment in Northern Colleges

SUDBURY An exciting new partnership is enhancing training opportunities at Northern Ontario’s six colleges, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci and Union Gas President Greg Ebel announced today.

"This is an exceptional opportunity to train young northerners at home in trades that are facing current and future skills shortages in Northern Ontario,” said Bartolucci, who is also chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). “Today’s announcement is also significant in that it is the McGuinty government’s first under the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund’s Emerging Technology Program, intended to encourage the private and public sectors to develop exciting and viable new technologies that will contribute to future northern prosperity.”

The project partners are investing a total of $8,542,000 in capital and program expansion projects at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Northern College in Timmins, Canadore College in North Bay, Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as at Cambrian College and Collège Boréal in Sudbury. The NOHFC is investing $1,887,000, Union Gas is providing $1,315,000, the colleges are contributing approximately $3,000,000 while the balance of funding is coming from FedNor and local partners.

"By investing in emerging technology training, we are inspiring Ontario's next generation to take new ideas, turn them into products and services and market those products and services to the world,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "As Premier and our government's Minister of Research and Innovation, it's my goal to build a more innovative, more creative Ontario."

“Union Gas is proud to have spearheaded this initiative to encourage Northern Ontario youth to pursue careers in skilled trades and the energy sector,” said company president Greg Ebel. “As a business that operates in Northern Ontario we know it is important to nurture and develop home-grown talent to serve the needs of business and industry now and in the future.”

"These funds will train the workers who will help fuel Northern Ontario's future prosperity," said Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "By helping our people acquire the skills they need to compete, we are laying the foundations for the future well-being of our province."

This NOHFC project is part of the government’s Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The Northern Prosperity Plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

Contact: Laura Blondeau -- Minister's Office, MNDM-Sudbury
Phone: 705/564-7454
24-Hour Phone: n/a
e-mail: n/a
Contact: Lise-Ann Jackson -- Union Gas, Toronto
Phone: 414/496-5315
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: eajackson@duke-energy.com