Ontario and Unifor join forces to help workers affected by Cascades' closure

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The Ontario government recently announced an investment aimed at supporting workers impacted by the closure of Cascades' plants in Trenton and Belleville.

A sum of $445,252 has been allocated to establish a new action center, managed by Unifor, to assist 180 workers in their job search and career transition.

The Cascades Action Center, operational until April 2025, is specifically designed for members of Unifor Local 1470 and the Independent Paperworkers Union Local 7 of Canada. It will offer various services, including:

  • Workshops and seminars
  • Peer support
  • Job search assistance
  • Financial management and computer skills training
  • Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) certification training
  • Other short-term training programs

The goal is to prepare these workers for well-paying jobs in manufacturing and skilled trades in Eastern Ontario.

David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, emphasized the importance of this investment in supporting workers and enabling them to access better job opportunities.

Lana Payne, National President of Unifor, also expressed support for this initiative, highlighting the importance of peer support during this challenging transition period for workers.

This action is part of broader efforts by the Ontario government to support workers and strengthen the manufacturing sector. Ontario invests over a billion dollars annually in employment and training services, including programs like Ontario's Best Jobs and the Skills Development Fund.

The Cascades Action Center, located at 250 Sidney Street in Belleville, will also receive a $2,500 contribution from Unifor National. This initiative comes at a crucial time, as recent data indicates approximately 6,600 jobs are vacant in the Kingston-Pembroke economic region, and Ontario's manufacturing sector had over 19,000 job vacancies in 2023.