The Government of Canada announced almost $2.9 million in support for the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario (WMCO) to help SMEs in southern Ontario adopt digital strategies.

WMCO is an industry-led cluster that supports SMEs across southern Ontario. Businesses include those specializing in cabinetry, commercial fixtures and millwork, furniture, flooring, mass timber construction and other niche products. With this investment, WMCO will support manufacturers as they adopt technologies, including supply chain digitization and increased Internet-of-Things capabilities.

“Ontario’s wood manufacturing industry is an important piece of Canada’s economy. Our government supports the hard-working people who are reaching their potential and driving this sector forward. By investing in wood manufacturing SMEs and the organizations that support them, we are working together to create good paying jobs and ensure these businesses can continue to grow and scale-up for years to come,” said Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Through this investment, WMCO will provide seed funding for up to 50 eligible SMEs undergoing digital adoption projects, creating 50 new jobs. As part of this investment, 50 new products, services and processes will be commercialized. WMCO will also prioritize SMEs in rural and Indigenous communities through targeted outreach activities.

“This project demonstrates the importance of industry-led clusters to deliver results for small- and medium-sized wood manufacturing companies, and government partners alike. SMEs who do not have easy access to support for digital transformation can work with the cluster to achieve global competitiveness through data integration and Industry 4.0 investments. The cluster provides an environment for companies to learn from each other’s projects and leverage the synergies to boost global competitiveness. WMCO is grateful to FedDev Ontario for this generous support,” said Mike Baker CEO, Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario.

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The Government of Canada is investing in manufacturers so they can reach their potential and develop new possibilities for this important industry.

“Today’s investment is supporting local advanced wood manufacturing SMEs right here in the Waterloo Region and across Canada to scale-up and modernize their processes for a strong future. The forest industry is a vital contributor to economic growth and the Government of Canada is committed to investing in our manufacturers so they can create good jobs, grow their companies and thrive for years to come,”  said Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament for Waterloo.

Featured image: (Getty Images)


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