Government of Canada invests in next generation of aerospace workers  

News release

Government of Canada invests over $3.8 million for McMaster University to train and upskill nearly 340 workers in southern Ontario’s aerospace sector

February 27, 2023  Hamilton, Ontario

The aerospace sector is an important pillar of the economy and a driver of innovation in Canada. The thousands of highly qualified people who work in this sector are developing innovative products that will ensure Canada remains a global leader. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting job growth and skills development to create a strong and resilient economy that works for everyone.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas; along with Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain; and Chad Collins, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek, announced an investment of over $3.8 million for McMaster University. With this investment, McMaster University will deliver a two-year targeted training program that is designed and instructed in collaboration with industry for aerospace professionals in southern Ontario, to help SMEs in this sector strengthen the workforce and grow our economy.

Through partnerships with organizations like Mohawk College Enterprise, Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research, the Ontario Aerospace Council, Women in Aerospace Canada, as well as employers and industry experts, the curriculum will deliver the best results possible. The program will help participating employers and SMEs improve productivity and efficiency through training and upskilling focused on the integration of technology in the workplace, allowing them to better understand their environmental impact and make efforts in greening their operations.

McMaster University is working with Indigenous organizations to help make outreach, engagement and participation easier for Indigenous people in manufacturing and aerospace training programs, with the intent of making skilled jobs more accessible. Additionally, a series of short courses based on a reconciliation toolkit for business leaders is being developed to increase awareness of regional Indigenous communities and their culture as well as how to attract and retain Indigenous talent.

Through this project, it is anticipated that nearly 340 aerospace professionals will receive the training and tools they need to grow in the industry, 100 of which will be Indigenous learners. All of the program participants will then go on to make the changes needed to help the aerospace industry excel and meet the demands on today’s global supply chain.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting southern Ontario’s aerospace sector by providing businesses and organizations the support they need to grow, create and maintain jobs, and contribute to economic growth in a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive way. These investments affect the workers at the heart of the aerospace sector that drive innovation and build a strong economy that works for everyone.


“Our government is investing in the potential of workers in the aerospace industry and ensuring they have the resources to contribute to a strong and growing economy. This new program delivered through McMaster University is equipping workers and businesses across southern Ontario with the skills and training they need to soar into the future. I am proud to be supporting them as we work together to grow an economy that works for everyone.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas

“Through this important investment, McMaster University will be able to equip nearly 340 employees in the aerospace sector with the tools they need to succeed.”
– Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain

“It is important that we continue to provide our aerospace SMEs the means to integrate technologies and green their operations so that they contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable future.”
– Chad Collins, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek

“This funding is a testament to McMaster’s ongoing commitment to creating opportunities for diverse and inclusive upskilling and micro-credential programming, and to FedDev Ontario’s foresight in supporting and investing in programs that are guaranteed to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and build on southern Ontario’s competitive advantage.”
– David Farrar, President, McMaster University

Quick facts

  • McMaster University is consistently ranked among Canada’s top research intensive universities, with a reputation as a hotspot for discovery and innovation. With aerospace as a key area of focus, the University is becoming a highly desired research partner in this sector.

  • Ontario’s aerospace industry has over 200 firms, employs more than 44,000 workers and is responsible for more than $6 billion in revenues.

  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) is part of a Government of Canada strategy that includes measures being implemented by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to boost the aerospace industry. With a national budget of $250 million over three years, FedDev Ontario is delivering $67.5 million in support in southern Ontario. 

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested nearly $160 million in 34 aerospace projects across southern Ontario, creating over 900 jobs and maintaining over 1,000 jobs.

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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