McMaster receives $1.3 million to support job seekers in the automotive and manufacturing sectors

Minister Monte McNaughton stands at a posium in the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute. President David Farrar and MPP Donna Skelly are in the background.

The provincial government has announced $1.3 million in funding for two McMaster programs designed to help job seekers in the automotive and manufacturing sectors.

“As we open Ontario’s economy again, effective training initiatives like McMaster’s are an essential part of our efforts,” Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of labour, training and skills development, said at an in-person, socially distanced event at the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute. “That’s why we’re investing in projects in Hamilton and across Ontario – to close the gap between the skills workers have and the skills employers need.”

McMaster’s Career Ready Fund Automotive will be receiving $1 million to help small and medium-sized businesses in the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors hire co-op students from McMaster.

“The Career Ready Fund Automotive stream has already successfully created experiential co-op opportunities for students to work with organizations where employment may not have been an option in these uncertain times,” says Kathryn Leistner, manager of co-op and career services for the Faculty of Engineering.

“This funding provides employment possibilities that would not otherwise have been feasible for more than 250 four-month work terms. In addition, we will be able to expand our supports for students with disabilities, in order to increase success for those students who may have faced barriers to employment.”

As well, the MMRI Industry Training Program, through Ontario RapidSkills, will be receiving $300,000 to help under- and unemployed workers with previous automotive and manufacturing training and experience adapt to new technologies and gain new skills in processes, materials and industry 4.0.

“We’re trying to identify the specific skills that learners need by going to industry and finding out what kinds of projects are available, then developing a program around those skills,” explains Stephen Veldhuis, director of the MMRI. “Rather than just providing general background information, we’re giving learners the applied skills they can then bring to an employer.”

According to Research Infosource, McMaster ranks first in Canada for industry-sponsored research – meaning that the university already has strong partnerships with industry, both for research and training.

“The reality is that skills development and re-skilling throughout the lifespan of one’s career is needed now more than ever,” said McMaster’s president, David Farrar, at the event. “Academic institutions must work hard at partnering with industry in order to ensure a robust economic recovery. We’re committed to doing just that at McMaster.”

To find out more about the Career Ready Fund, go to the Hire McMaster website.

To connect with someone about providing co-op opportunities, please email