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Program to prep Northern companies to compete in defence sector

Financing, resources available to ensure compliance with industry standards
The new Industrial and Technological Benefits Capacity Building Program will help Northern Ontario companies meet standards for supplying the defence sector. (Stock photo)

A new program will help companies in Northern Ontario become certified to bid on supply contracts in the defence sector.

On Aug. 19, the Timmins Economic Development Corp. (TEDC) announced the new Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Capacity Building Program, an initiative being offered in conjunction with Ontario’s North Economic Development Corp. (ONEDC).

The five northern communities included in ONEDC are Timmins, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay.

“Northern Ontario has a strong pool of expertise in mining, metal fabrication, and heavy industrial vehicle mechanics,” said Ross MacDonald, the TEDC’s business development specialist, in a news release.

“This program opens a window of opportunity for Northern companies to work with multinationals and tiered global supply chains in the defence sector.

MacDonald noted that local firms already supply similar parts to the mining industry, but “with a few minor adjustments to their products, local firms can access new revenue streams.”

The new program will help Northern businesses put into place formal quality control programs and proper security registration, while adjusting business operations to meet standards required to compete in the defence sector and other industries.

The ITB program will provide guidance and financial assistance to help our companies meet these standards.

“We’re looking forward to collaborating with other communities to see firms in the North expand their offerings,” TEDC chair Fred Gibbons said in the release.

“Northern Ontario is a designated region of Canada for the defence sector, so local companies have an advantage in working with the prime contractors. In addition to leveraging partnerships, the project will enhance capacity building efforts, create jobs and diversify the economy.”