Gathered at Northern’s Timmins campus on Sept. 20, parties from the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will encourage teaching partnerships, recruitment and employment initiatives, speaking engagement opportunities, applied research, co-op placements, curriculum support and scholarship offerings.
The lumber company is also contributing $5,000 toward the purchase of a machine tool chip conveyor learning system for the college’s shop.
It will help train students studying in the college’s industrial millwright, heavy equipment mechanic, and instrumentation technician programs.
“With this agreement, EACOM is taking a proactive approach to helping solve the skilled trades shortage that we are experiencing in Northern Ontario,” stated Aaron Klooster, Northern College’s dean of trades and technology, in the release.
“Northern College is quite proud to call EACOM our partner in this first-of-its-kind endeavour as we see this agreement as a model for how colleges and industry can work together to strengthen our communities.”
The MOU is the first step in a proposed long-term partnership between the college and the forest industry.
The parties said type of direct training is expected to better train students, while also helping to fill labour gaps in the forest industry.
“An ever-growing urbanized society, coupled with the cyclical nature of our industry, have created important labour gaps across our operations in Northern Ontario and Québec in recent years,” Kevin Edgson, EACOM’s president and CEO, said in the release.
“Guided by our values of collaboration and learning, we have found in Northern College a partner to help us shift the current dynamics and propel opportunities for the next generation in our communities.
“From Ear Falls to Gogama, Sault Ste. Marie to Timmins, Team EACOM is excited to embark on this partnership to enrich education, boost employment and drive local social and economic benefits.”
Headquartered in Montréal, EACOM owns seven sawmills, a remanufacturing facility, and an engineered I-joist plant, employing 1,200 people.