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Indigenous software-testing firm lands $2.6M

PLATO Testing established in the Sault in 2018
PLATO Testing, which trains Indigenous workers to test software, established its Sault Ste. Marie location in September, 2018. (Supplied photo)

The federal government is providing $2.6 million to Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization Inc. (PLATO) to support its Sault Ste. Marie facility.

Sault MP Terry Sheehan made the FedNor announcement on June 28.

PLATO trains Indigenous workers to test software before it goes to market. The Fredericton, N.B.-headquartered company set up shop in September, 2018.

That office draws on workers from the Garden River and Batchewana First Nations, along with the local Métis community, and is expected to employ up to 60 people.

The focus of its Sault location is testing software related to lottery and gaming.

“I am grateful to the Government of Canada for this support, through FedNor, illustrating the importance Canada places on innovation and skills development to strengthen our economy,” said Keith McIntosh, who founded PLATO Testing and its parent company, PQA Testing, in a June 28 news release. 

“PLATO Testing’s new strategic operation in Sault Ste. Marie brings us closer to a ready and able population of First Nation and Métis Peoples throughout Northern Ontario and a strong lottery and gaming industry to advance our Indigenous software-testing enterprise.”

Sheehan called the funding an “important investment in the Indigenous peoples of Northern Ontario.

“I am pleased that Sault Ste. Marie was selected as the base for PLATO’s latest training centre and I am proud of our government’s partnership with this forward-thinking Canadian tech company,” he said.