File Image: Valiant Training & Development Centre in Windsor, ONClick image to enlarge

The Valiant Training & Development Centre is undergoing a change to become the St. Clair College Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre.

In 2008, the Valiant Training & Development Centre opened in Windsor, ON. It was a result of the vision of Michael G. Solcz Sr., chairman emeritus, Solcz Group Inc. and founder of the Valiant TMS Group of Companies, to hire and develop specialized skilled trade talent locally to address the changing needs of the industry. Automation was influencing all aspects of the business and the skilled trades training available was not keeping pace. Mr. Solcz and his team developed an innovative approach combining work opportunity and training, preparing people for the job in 46 weeks – called “Earn While You Learn.”

Shop Metalworking Technology profiled the centre in 2016. Read the story here.

“Our team members and customers have benefitted from the skills and experience provided through our training programs,” says Solcz “We believe it is now time to expand the program to benefit the greater community and that St. Clair College is well positioned to drive that growth.”

The St. Clair College Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre will take skilled trades and apprenticeship training to the next level and provide much needed, specific skills training in our region.

“This presents our community with a great opportunity to provide industry with new ways to encourage our youth to explore a career in the manufacturing sector,” says St. Clair College president, Patricia France. “There are numerous partners in the community including the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA), Canadian Association of Mouldmakers (CAMM), and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) who all have the same vision, to assist industry in being fully productive on the shop floor with well trained employees.”

Mike Ouellette, director of training at the Valiant Training & Development Centre, has been in industry for more than 39 years and has managed the Centre for the past eight years. He will now serve in this capacity working with St. Clair College. Ouellette’s passion to drive the concept of “Earn While You Learn” has been a key to the Centre’s success. His vision is to continue to work to enhance the pre-apprenticeship system and as importantly, to help young people achieve great careers in the machine, tool, die and mould industries. “We are here to improve people’s capabilities and help them achieve their full potential. Between Valiant TMS’ initial 46-week “Earn While You Learn” program and the two CTMA programs that are currently being run, we have helped more than 400 students get a great start with one of 36 industry partners in the community. With this new relationship with St. Clair College, we look forward to building on that success.”

The two programs currently being offered are for youth aged 18 – 29. The Introductory Trades Training (ITT) program includes six weeks of in-class workplace readiness training at the centre followed by 26 weeks of shop-floor training with a local employer. The “Earn While You Learn” program includes six weeks of in-class workplace readiness training and 36 weeks of intensive shop-floor training at the Training Centre. Under both programs students receive a certificate from the CTMA when they graduate.

The in-school portion of the program includes math skills, safety training, and blueprint reading classes. The shop floor components see students exposed to numerous state-of-the-art equipment including CNC machines. Both programs are funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG).

“The CTMA is pleased to see that both of our programs will have a new home within the college system” says Robert Cattle, executive director of the CTMA. “These programs have shown that, by looking to industry as our example, training methods can evolve. Young people are able to start careers by training and learning full-time which is producing a highly skilled, proficient workforce at a much faster rate. These are the types of changes that will help keep our Canadian workforce competitive and I applaud Patti and her team for taking the next step in this direction. We look forward to working with St. Clair College in the delivery of these and future programs.”

Jonathan Azzopardi, president of CAMM says CAMM and its members are proud to support St. Clair College in its decision to bring the Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre under its banner. “The Centre under the College now expands the potential to indirectly support the entire Windsor Essex Manufacturing sector which contributes over $4.9 billion dollars to our local economy and employs almost 50,000 and will directly help over 250 companies in the machine tool, die and mouldmaking (MTDM) sector.”

France says that with the wealth of knowledge and common goal amongst the various organizations in the community, the Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre will be able to continue to serve the needs of the MTDM industry into the future. “The College has a long history of training apprentices and skilled trades graduates who have gone on to rewarding careers in this industry sector. The Solcz family have been pioneers in the area of industry-ready training programs and we look forward to taking their model into the region to help other communities find and retain a skilled workforce.”

Ontario eyes manufacturing to lead the comeback

As the world licks its wounds and begins planning a return to work, the province of Ontario is looking at manufacturing to be its ace in the hole.

Ontario gives Sheridan College $550k for skills training

Sheridan’s Davis Campus has been handed $559,837 in funding from the province for its Pre-Apprenticeship Programs.

Medical machining: A healthy business

Medical device manufacturing can be a lucrative market but there are challenges

by Mary Scianna

One of the lessons of the recent economic down for contract manufacturers and job shops was the value of not keeping all your eggs in one basket.

Elliott-Matsuura, LVD Strippit partner with All Fabrication Machinery

Elliott-Matsuura Canada Ltd., Oakville, ON, LVD Strippit, Akron, NY, and All Fabrication Machinery, Leduc, AB, have formed a partnership for Western Canada.

MC232 solid carbide cutting tools from Walter

The MC232 Perform line of solid carbide milling cutters from Walter feature a corner radius for improved approaches to individual component geometries. It also improves the tool life of the milling cutter, as the edge stability is increased.

Lincoln expands global presence with SWP acquisition

Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc.has acquired Specialised Welding Products (SWP), a privately held provider of specialty welding consumables in Australia and New Zealand.

McMaster opens $11 M engineering hands-on learning centre

McMaster University's Faculty of Engineering has opened a 28,000 sq ft student centre for hands-on learning.

Ontario mouldmaker steps up to fight pandemic building parts for hand sanitizer dispensers

Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd. in Windsor, Ont. is one of many Canadian manufacturers that have now stepped up in response to the Federal government's request for support in helping to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Federal government invests $22 M in research for cleantech, advanced manufacturing

The Federal government is investing close to $22 million for four research networks that encourage industrial partnerships between scientists and business leaders to tackle pollution and explore enhanced manufacturing technologies.

Welding group applauds federal budget

The Canadian Welding Association is happy with the federal government's initiatives for skills development outlined in the recent 2016 budget, "Growing the Middle Class."

West Coast Wonder

Story by Kip Hanson  •  Images by Derek Ford

BC design and manufacturing company adopts a five axis machining strategy

Climbing the Ladder

by Kip Hanson | Images by Ron Ng

Custom hydraulic product manufacturer Hydra Dyne develops its own in-house solutions to everyday machining problems

Hypertherm's education grants for 2016

Hypertherm has launched its "Spark Something Great" educational grant program for schools in Canada, US and Mexico.

New distributor focuses on large part machining

Natex Machinery Group Co., Mississauga, ON, is a new Canadian distributor in Canada focused on machinery for large part machining.

Advanced manufacturing centre unveils collaborative robot

Sheridan's Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) is the first facility in Canada to acquire ABB's collaborative robot, YuMi.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn