Graduates of the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association's 32-week Introductory Trades Training Program for learning tool, die, mould and machining skillsClick image to enlarge

In April, 20 youth graduated from the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association's 32-week introductory Trades Training program for tool, die, mould and machining skills.

The program was created by CTMA and its member companies to address youth unemployment in Windsor, ON and Essex County, as well as addressing the skills shortage in the tool, die, mould and machining industry. CTMA received assistance from New Beginnings, an organization that provides services to youth and families of Windsor and Essex County, and the Windsor Employment Assessment Centre.

The 20 youth participated in four weeks of introductory training in September 2014 at the Valiant Training & Development Centre, followed by 28 weeks of job placement with a Windsor-Essex area company. The participating companies included Advanced Machining Services, Bolzano Tool & Die, Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing, Centreline (Windsor), Crest Mold Technology, Electromac Group, Exact Laser Measurements, Glider Guard Tool and Die, H. Beck Machinery, Jahn Engineering, J&C Tool & Die, JFK Systems, Kapco Tool & Die, Manor Tool & Die, Sigma Engineering, and Technicut Tool.

Robert Cattle, executive director of the CTMA, states in a April 29 Windsor Star article that the program isn't a college route, which can take at least three years. "They're not a registered apprentice with the Ontario College of Trade. They can go that route or they can continue to train and learn with the company....We need to get people on the shop floor faster; we need to get them trained quickly. Where is the latest equipment? On the shop floor. Where are the people who know how to run the latest technology? They're on the shop floor. It's not in the college system."

The graduating youth, ages 18 – 29, have gained new skills through in-depth on-the-job training all while being paid an hourly wage. Funding from the Ontario government through the Ready.Set.Work program and the Youth Employment Fund helped employers offset their costs of training throughout this program.

The CTMA has received a new round of funding from the Ontario government to enable us to offer this program to 75 more youth through 3 intakes taking place in April, June and October 2015. For more information, visit


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