The Ontario government is supporting innovation and helping to strengthen local economies by investing more than $2.8 million in three Barrie-area businesses through the Regional Development Program.
Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli, made the announcement this morning at Tempo Plastics Limited in Innisfil. “As Ontario turns the corner on this pandemic, one of our top priorities is supporting economic growth across all regions of the province,” said Minister Fedeli. “These projects will make a significant impact in their local communities and economies. They will enable long-term measurable outcomes, including private-sector investments, job creation, job retention, and strong regional growth.”
It’s expected these investments will attract investment, create 72 jobs, and help retain over 280 jobs in the Barrie area.
Tempo Plastics Limited, a manufacturer of custom printed flexible packaging for lawn and garden and food processors, is investing more than $14.4 million to expand their facility and acquire new technology. With $2.2 million from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, they are creating 26 jobs and retaining 144. This investment will increase their production capacity and replace manual, repetitive tasks in the operation. The enhanced productivity and innovation will allow the company to expand into new markets.
Tempo works closely with several post-secondary institutions including; Georgian College, Humber College, and Ryerson University to recruit interns and new graduates to fill open positions in the growing company. The company has positioned itself as the preferred partner for sustainable flexible packaging solutions and is an active member of the Canada Plastics Pact.
“All of us at Team Tempo are excited how the investment from the Regional Development Fund is helping to strengthen Tempo’s reputation as a trusted Packaging Partner,” said Leonardo Giglio, Optimist & CEO of Tempo Plastics. “Tempo has almost 40 years of history in Simcoe County, and we are proud to continue to offer secure, essential service employment opportunities in our community.”
“As our local economy recovers and rebuilds, investing in our local businesses like our manufacturers helps bring jobs to people that need them,” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “Our local manufacturers have been excellent at giving back and being involved in supporting our communities, and this funding will benefit our local economy and help to attain financial stability for many people in the area.”
Matsu Manufacturing Inc., a manufacturer of automotive parts and metal stamping is investing over $2.6 million in new equipment that will improve its operations and open up new market opportunities. With $266,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, the first phase of this project will create 24 jobs and retain 137. Matsu will purchase new assembly and stamping equipment, including a transfer press, robots, welding cells, turntables, conveyors – in addition to making modifications and upgrades to its facility. This investment will enable the company to undertake larger and more complex stampings and secure additional long-term contracts. With the second phase of the project, another 26 high-skilled jobs are expected to be created in the region.
“With the support of the Southwest Ontario Development Fund, our investment into the modernization of this critical piece of equipment has helped retain and create skilled jobs in Barrie,” said Bruce Nakashima, General Manager of Matsu Manufacturing Barrie. “Matsu Barrie now operates our state-of-the-art press on three shifts to supply existing and new customers in Canada and the United States. Most importantly, our associates are excited about the future opportunities that our facility has because of the commitment by both the company and the province.”
“These investments are a crucial part of supporting current and future growth in our region,” said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte. “Our focus remains on helping local small businesses, and developing ideas that create jobs and support our local economy on the road to recovery. This funding will create 72 new jobs, and help to retain 280 existing jobs, meaning more families can live and work in the same area, and help the communities they love to grow and flourish.”
Volatus Flight Systems Inc., a new Ontario-based company, is investing $2.5 million to establish an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Centre of Excellence at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport. With $375,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Volatus is creating 22 jobs. Their 32,000 sq. ft. facility will be fitted with new equipment, including a data processing centre, satellite communications technology, drone delivery system, and drone taxi station. As part of the project, the company will assemble and commercialize multi-fuel and electric variants of their unmanned aerial vehicles. Volatus will also undertake research and development activities to enhance and develop its own unmanned aerial vehicles – and those of other late-stage developers.
“The Regional Development Funding from the Government of Ontario is allowing Volatus Flight Systems to accelerate the growth of our Simcoe County operations,” said Andy Buck, Vice President and General Manager of Volatus Flight Systems. “We are quickly building out our facility for the manufacturing of sUAS and will soon be operational. The funding enables us to create jobs at the facility much quicker which is leading to faster company growth as well.”