Ontario supports $18.8 million surge in Southwestern Ontario economy with $1.7 million Regional Development Program investment
CAMBRIDGE – The Ontario government is supporting an investment of more than $18.8 million by three Southwestern Ontario companies to help strengthen local manufacturing, create good jobs and attract investment to Cambridge and the surrounding region. The province is investing more than $1.7 million in the manufacturing sector through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 167 jobs.
“The Regional Development Program continues to support local manufacturers through targeted investments that allow businesses to create good, local jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “These projects are making a significant impact in communities and economies in the Cambridge region and Southern Ontario by helping to secure the private-sector investment to create the conditions for long-term economic growth and job creation. We thank IPF Holdings Inc., Shimco North America Inc. and Eclipse Automation Inc. for contributing to our province’s dynamic and growing manufacturing sector.”
IPF Holdings Inc. (good natured Products Inc.) in Ayr is investing $4.3 million in a new production line for eco-friendly packaging. With Ontario’s investment of $500,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, good natured Products Inc. will create 15 jobs. The company, which recently acquired Integrated Packaging Films, will now produce bio-based sheet extrusion that meets new government regulations and offers new, innovative and environmentally friendly products. The additional capacity builds on an existing long-term supply contract with Ex-Tech the bio-based sheet extrusion business from Illinois which the company recently acquired.
“On behalf of good natured Products, I want to thank the Government of Ontario for their support as we enhance our operational capabilities at our IPF Facility. The expansion will enable us to meet the rapidly growing demand for compostable and renewable packaging options and add 15 new team members to support this growth over the next three years,” stated Paul Antoniadis, CEO of good natured. “The addition of high-speed extrusion technology and capacity improvements will help us accelerate our organic growth strategy to become North America’s leading earth-friendly product company.”
Shimco North America Inc. is investing nearly $3.8 million to establish a full-service vertically integrated processing system, and a Shimco Centre of Excellence lab. With Ontario’s investment of $246,772 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Shimco will create 12 jobs. The new system will reduce cycle times from 20 days to three which will put the company in a position to better service its current customers, Bombardier, Boeing and Airbus, but will attract new third-party aerospace manufacturers who require processing from an approved supplier.
“The support we received from SWODF was invaluable in making this ambition of ours a reality. Being a full-service facility really puts Shimco on a higher level in the aerospace supply chain, as we are now the only facility of its kind in Canada, and one of a few in the world. I am very grateful to the Province for its support,” said Peter Voss, CEO and owner of Shimco.
Eclipse Automation Inc. is investing nearly $10.8 million to establish an Industry 4.0 SMART facility in Cambridge. With Ontario’s investment of $1 million from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Eclipse will create 140 jobs. Eclipse, the largest privately held automation company in Canada and the third-largest automation provider in North America, has ranked as one of Canada’s fastest- growing companies by GROWTH 500 every year since 2014, and has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies seven years in a row. Upgrading to an Industry 4.0 SMART facility will enable Eclipse to increase their supply-chain inputs and productivity while reducing costs and opening them up to new markets.
“Our collaborative investment to accelerate the era of 4.0 SMART facilities at Eclipse Automation is a key part of our growth strategy,” said Steve Mai, CEO of Eclipse Automation. “As an organization that designs and builds solutions for some of the world’s leading high-tech companies, we were already poised for the transformation to a 4.0 SMART system methodology. The investment from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund helps support enhancements to our facilities and resources, which will lead to greater job creation within our multiple sites in Southern Ontario.”
“It is encouraging to see our Government’s continued investment in the manufacturing sector in Waterloo Region through the Regional Development Fund,” said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “Ontario’s added investment will help retain and create hundreds of jobs, which benefits our communities in every way. I’m thrilled that IPF Holdings Inc., Shimco North America Inc. and Eclipse Automation Inc. are growing their business in our region.”
“Our government’s investment in these local manufacturers is great news for current and future employees, their families, and the local economy,” said Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler. “This substantial financial support benefits the progressive and thriving manufacturing sector of Waterloo Region and the province of Ontario.”
Ontario is investing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges. The program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create jobs.