Ontario invests $7.8M in Windsor area auto companies
Seven automotive companies in Windsor-Essex are getting a combined funding share of $7.8 million, the province announced Wednesday afternoon.
The cash helped secure investment from one company that considered setting up shop in the United States, explained Essex County Warden Tom Bain. Astrex Inc., which received $1.5 million to upgrade its facilities, equipment and training, had the opportunity to move to a site in Ohio.
"It's tremendous news for our area," Bain said. "We were finally — with help from the province and help from the economic development corporation — able to convince them to build here."
Astrex produces high-strength alloys for the automotive sector. Ontario's investment is expected to create 62 new jobs over four years.
Deputy premier Deb Matthews made the announcement in Windsor on behalf of Ontario Minister of Economic Development Brad Duguid.
The money will support economic growth, create 270 jobs and retain more than 1,180 positions, according to the province's news release. It comes from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, which helps create jobs and diversify the economy by encouraging businesses to be innovative and pursue new markets.
"It's going to make us competitive long into the future," Matthews said. "Today, we're here to acknowledge the impressive innovation by seven local companies — companies that each play a vitally important role in the auto sector."
Other companies and investments include:
- The Electromac Group — $1.5 million to help expand its facility, purchase equipment and install three hot stamping production lines to meet increased demand for light weight auto parts. The investment will create will create 30 new jobs over five years.
- Essex Weld Solutions — $450,000 to help Essex Weld Solutions expand and acquire state-of-the-art fibre optic laser cutting machines to increase production and implement robotic welding processes. The investment will create 20 jobs over three years.
- Integrity Tool and Mold — $1.1 million to help Integrity Tool and Mold upgrade equipment to produce higher quality and more precise molds than what are currently on the market. The investment will create 52 new jobs over three years.
- JD Norman Canada — $480,000 to help JD Norman Canada invest in new equipment to improve product quality and ramp-up production of connecting rods for the automotive sector. The investment will create 14 jobs over five years.
- Lakeside Plastics — $1.28 million to help Lakeside Plastics purchase new machinery and equipment to expand their capabilities and improve competitiveness. The investment create 55 jobs over four years.
- Ventra Group — $1.5 million to help Ventra Group upgrade facilities and purchase new equipment to incorporate an experimental high-strength steel new to the automotive industry. The investment will create 37 jobs over four years.
"The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund gives reputable companies the chance to adopt new technologies that will help them grow their business and stay competitive," Duguid said in the news release.