CHRISTA ROETTELE, Communications Branch, OMAFRA
The Ontario government is helping communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers and create jobs, by investing nearly $800,000 through the Rural Economic Development (RED) program. Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the 16 local projects that were selected, on February 24th.
“This new targeted funding is just one of the many ways our government is supporting job creation and economic development across the province,” said Minister Hardeman. “We’re encouraging local economic growth by supporting projects which help expand businesses and provide skills development and training for employees. These kinds of investments are particularly important as we lay the foundation for our recovery from COVID-19.”
This funding supports projects designed to enhance economic development efforts, such as: Mentoring, coaching and helping youth in northern Ontario communities with job searches, hiring and starting businesses; Providing supports for business attraction, expansion and retention, as well as succession planning, in order to overcome rural economic development barriers; Develop and support industry partnerships; To recruit and coach Indigenous women in non-traditional jobs throughout Northeastern Ontario, increasing participation in the skilled trades; Introducing asset management strategies to 30 economic development officers, representing rural, northern, and Indigenous communities, in order to better operationalize potential investments and build economic development capacity.
The targeted intake was directed at upper-tier municipalities and not-for-profit regional organizations with a mandate of regional economic development. Qualifying projects were eligible for up to 70 percent of total costs, to a maximum of $75,000, in provincial funding.