Grants Support Skills Training in Ontario’s Green Economy

The Ontario Trillium Foundation has announced $2 million in Future Fund grants to four community projects. Organizations will use the funds to promote systematic change in green jobs skills development and training. This will support long term transformation in the green economy and achieve ongoing benefits for industries, workers, and communities.

These latest Future Fund grants were celebrated at an event in Toronto July 6, 2010. Four projects totaling $2 million were awarded. The recipients are:

* Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council – $393,100 over three years to train building professionals and trades people in the technologies and benefits of green building, increasing capacity in energy and water conservation and efficiency, and renewable energy in communities in Ontario.

* Biomass Network Group c/o Biomass Innovation Centre at Nipissing University – $565,000 over 44 months to help establish biomass as one of new clean technologies in the province and to support the economic growth of Northern Ontario through curriculum development and training in a wide range of jobs and professions.

* Partners in Skills Development for the Green Economy c/o Youth Employment Assistance Headquarters Inc. – $503,300 over three years to further the development of solar generation programs and provide skills training in Leeds Grenville to meet the needs of Eastern Ontario employers in the photovoltaic area of the green economy

* Windfall Ecology Centre – $538,600 over three years to develop and launch REpower Ontario, a community based training program designed to connect participants with employment opportunities in Ontario’s Green Economy.

“The Future Fund grants announced today will support projects that create significant and sustainable change in areas such as energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy,” said John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment.

“These projects will continue to build on Ontarians’ green job skills, while ensuring the protection of our environment.”

“These four organizations each have a deep understanding of the sector and will contribute to the creation of green jobs, as well as prepare Ontario workers to be employed in the new jobs of the green economy,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture.

“Each of these grants is a vote of confidence for Ontario organizations that are seeking to play an innovative role and contribute economically to their communities by creating jobs and re-skilling people to work in the green sector,” said OTF Chair Helen Burstyn. “By diversifying our workforce, we make Ontario stronger. These are very practical, forward-thinking approaches that will make a difference at the community level and for individuals looking for opportunities in this growing job sector.”

The 2010 Future Fund grants support two types of projects:

Initiatives that build local or province-wide systems that support new approaches to skill development; improved access to employment; new economic opportunities, through social purpose enterprises or community economic development initiatives; increased access to financial capital for small scale entrepreneurs.

Initiatives that prepare communities to take action – the support needed to take a germ of an idea, explore it, then collaborate with others to address tangible economic opportunities that leaders can see within in their own organization, professional network, or community.

OTF established the Future Fund in 2007 as part of its commitment to invest in Ontario’s future. In 2007 and 2008, the Future Fund targeted leadership in the environment sector. In 2009, the fund focused on innovative initiatives that create social and economic opportunities for Ontarians.

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

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