Brock University and MTechHub have combined forces to enhance the skills of workers in the Canadian manufacturing industry.
The two organizations formalized their partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at an event held Wednesday, June 29.
Through the partnership, Brock University’s Professional and Continuing Studies will work with MTechHub, a Burlington-based organization that supports digital transformation for Canadian manufacturing, to develop a set of unique educational opportunities for manufacturing workers that will combine online and classroom learning, hands-on labs, work-integrated projects and factory workshops.
The MOU, Brock’s first in the manufacturing sector, is an important example of the University’s ongoing commitment to contributing to the well-being and vitality of the community and beyond, says Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Lynn Wells.
“Manufacturing is an essential part of Ontario’s economy and our collaboration with MTechHub will not only facilitate opportunities to support today’s industrial manufacturers, but also the next generation of Ontario’s manufacturing industry,” she says. “This partnership with MTechHub is a key part of Brock’s commitment to supporting education and innovation for the future of the manufacturing industry, and will create avenues for further collaboration in research, service and student experiential learning.”
Mark Corker, MTechHub Executive Director, says a shortage of skilled workers remains a universal problem in Canadian manufacturing, with the labour market lacking the knowledge needed to implement new technologies to move the sector forward.
“MTechHub is excited to partner with Brock University to develop a set of unique integrated education, micro-credentials and Smart Factory adoption programs,” he says. “Brock’s world-class education resources, curriculum designers and adult-learning expertise combined with MTechHub’s proven tech stacks will provide Canadian small and mid-size enterprises with the tools to accelerate the move to the Smart Factory. This will improve productivity, employment and export growth.”
April-Dawn Blackwell, Brock’s Associate Vice-President, Professional and Continuing Studies, says the department is focused on “connecting with industry and community to build partnerships that facilitate systemic and systematic opportunities for change and growth.”
“Through our customized training and education solutions, the partnership with MTechHub is one example in which the University is expanding our educational offerings to upskill and reskill individual’s career advancement and employer prosperity,” she says.
The community is already welcoming the partnership with open arms.
Shann McGrail, Executive Director of the Haltech Regional Innovation Centre, where Wednesday’s event was held, says the organization “values the working relationship with Brock and MTechHub for the benefit it brings to our clients and the innovation community.”
“Through access to talent, strengthened supports for entrepreneurs, industry expertise and programs, this partnership extends the resources and relationships for start-up and scale-up companies,” she says. “The result will be game-changing products and services in market, accelerated growth, and economic impact.”
Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says the City, which signed its own MOU with Brock in fall 2020, is looking forward to seeing the University enhance its presence in the community.
“One of the pillars of the City’s Strategic Plan is to be a city that grows,” she says. “Welcoming Brock University to the Burlington community will be a big leap towards fulfilling the vision we have for the City of Burlington.”