WindsorEssex Community Proves to be a Tour de Force Globally & Domestically – Successfully Garners Attention from the Liberal & Conservative Governments of Canada – Building the Framework for Canadian Manufacturing for Decades to Come!

Jonathan Azzopardi kicks off an anticipated significant financial investment announcement by Hon. Vic Fedeli at Caesars today. This is during the Canadian Association of Moldmakers (CAMM) Annual General Meeting. Photo Credits: Taylor Campbell Twitter: @WStarCampbell

The Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM) annual dinner held on September 9th at the Caesars Windsor against the backdrop of the Detroit River. Many developments and changes were announced pertaining to the future of the automotive industry in the Windsor-Essex region. Approximately 200 members gathered to discuss various topics such as international partnerships and funding that will further secure jobs and industry for Windsor-Essex, a community heavily affected by the economic downturn of 2008 and the more recent NAFTA/USCMA negotiations. Joining the ranks of these proud Mold Makers was Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, who was in Windsor to announce the launch of Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP), a 10-million-dollar program aimed at making companies in areas like the Windsor –Essex county increasingly competitive on the global market. This initiative will invest in small and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers with Technology Adoption and/or Lean Manufacturing Training projectsO-AMP is designed to strengthen the Ontario auto industry, with funding being released over the next 3 years. The program will cover 50% of the project costs up to $100,000, with the remainder of the costs being the responsibility of the applicant. To be eligible, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have less than 500 employees
  2. Registered Business Number
  3. Meet annual revenues of less than a billion dollars
  4. Provide 2 years of financial statements
  5. Have at least half of its total revenue come from the auto supply industry

In addition to the O-AMP funding, the Innovation Supercluster Initiative has been established to stimulate promising economic clusters of advanced manufactures, technology, and various other industries. The Windsor-Essex area, with its 14,000 mold makers and over 250 companies, has been identified as one of these promising supercluster regions, with the program promising to invest $950 million into these various superclusters by 2022, with 100 million eligible for release by end of 2019. Eligible applicants are those who have been shortlisted by the Ministry and represented by a not-for-profit organization like CAMM. For more information on approved and shortlisted applicants and eligibility, please visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Admirably Windsor-Essex organizations like CAMM & APMA have been actively involved in the protection and securement of the Canadian Automotive Parts industry by being fiercely present at the USCMA/NAFTA negotiations, as well as looking globally to find solutions to combat industry challenges like a “no car future” as being proposed in Europe. Visits to Tesla in Bay City, Japan, Germany, and India have proven to be successful as WindsorEssex Development Corporation and CAMM successfully signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India and the Tool & Gauge Manufacturing Association of India. Shifting focus from trade and business with America to India, a country currently experiencing rapid economic growth, increasing middle class and consumerism. According to Jonathan Azzopardi, President of Laval International and Director of CAMM,

“India is growing 7 -10 percent a year compared to Canada that has a 3% growth rate”.

India is predicted to take 3rd place for vehicle sales by 2022, making it the 7th largest car manufacturer in the world. of 4th largest auto industry in the world with sales increasing 9.5 percent year over year. Currently, 60% of the molds in India are imported from Europe. The numbers are undeniable and the future not so bleak with leaders from Canadian Industries like the Automotive Community in Windsor-Essex taking charge.

A key message from Jonathan Azzopardi and other speakers at the CAMM dinner was that Canada’s Industries cannot stay silent when they must ask for help! That we must fiercely be proactive in order to protect our industries, our workers, and our communities by continuing to innovate, develop and evolve. Organizations like CAMM have been so active that the government is now approaching them to better understand how they are framing the future of Canada’s manufacturing industry and how the government can assist.

If you have a project in mind and require more information on the Supercluster Initiative or O-AMP, please feel free to reach out to VOX ISM at 705-279-5139.

Blog post by Ksenia Beljakova – Business Development Coordinator

Ksenia Beljakova graduated from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications. Shortly after graduation – Ksenia began her career as a business owner, before moving onto Procurement & Logistics in the Distribution & Manufacturing sector.