Ontario provides $1,287,060 to extend successful Elevate Plus training program

BAY OF QUINTE The Ontario government is investing $1,287,060 to train new and incumbent workers for jobs and career advancement in the Quinte manufacturing and food processing sector through Elevate Plus, a partnership between the Quinte Economic Development Commission, Loyalist College, and local businesses.

This initiative is supported through the government’s Skills Development Fund, a program that offers funding to a wide range of organizations for innovative projects that address Ontario’s labour shortage and stimulate growth in key sectors of the provincial economy.

The program offers participants four weeks of in-class training, followed by a four-week paid placement with a local business. Through Elevate Plus, participants gain soft skills like effective communication, emotional intelligence, accountability, and teamwork as well as a range of technical skills like good manufacturing practices, health-and safety, documentation requirements, and job-specific knowledge. Job seekers also receive wraparound supports to help sustain employment.

“Over the years, the Elevate Plus program has been transforming lives by giving job seekers the tools they need to be successful in manufacturing and food processing. Its graduates are reliably filling vacancies in our local labour market,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “I’m pleased that our government continues to support this model program in our community.”

This funding will allow up to 349 participants to enroll in Elevate Plus. Targeted participants include those who are unemployed or underemployed who may face barriers to employment, incumbent manufacturing workers that require skills upgrading, and employers within the manufacturing sector.

Chris King, the Quinte Economic Development Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the funding.

“This funding support from the Skills Development Fund will be used to directly support local job seekers and the region’s manufacturing workforce through the Elevate Plus program,” said King. “Elevate Plus is administered by the Quinte Economic Development Commission in partnership with Loyalist College to prepare individuals with barriers to employment for full-time, permanent employment in the manufacturing sector. The funding will also support incumbent manufacturing workers with the development of new skills that bring more value to local manufacturers. We thank the Ontario Government for its continued investment in this successful program.”

The Skills Development Fund is open to a wide range of applicants, including employers, industry associations, labour unions, municipalities, hospitals and many more. In addition to supporting one-year projects, the fund also allows funding over several years to support longer-term projects. This enables interested organizations to receive funding to provide skills development services and training through a more flexible and tailored approach.

“Ontario needs all hands on deck to help build the highways, transit, schools, homes and hospitals our growing population relies on,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “As we continue to tackle labour shortages in Ontario, our Skills Development Fund helps people get the training they need so that they can get jobs they can be proud of and earn a bigger paycheque for themselves and their families.”

The funding announced today builds on the government’s continuing mission to attract, support, and protect workers, and to make Ontario the best place in the world to work, live and raise a family. In support of this effort, the province recently introduced the third Working for Workers Act and is launching a capital stream of the Skills Development Fund which will help build and upgrade training centres across the province.


  • With the recent third round of funding, the government has increased its overall investment in the Skills Development Fund to over $700 million since the 2020 Ontario Budget.
  • Through its first two funding rounds since program launch in 2021, the Skills Development Fund supported 388 projects in Ontario aiming to create training and job opportunities for almost 400,000 people.
  • The Skills Development Fund capital stream is expected to launch in late spring 2023.
  • In January 2023, there were over 300,000 jobs vacant in Ontario.
  • The Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.