OCN looking at aerospace industry for future plans – The Reminder

Opaskwayak Cree Nation could be the home of a new aerospace manufacturing company.

The announcement came on the heels of the release of The Look North Report and Action Plan, which outlines actions to create new economic opportunities in northern Manitoba. It comes nearly a year after the announcement the Tolko paper mill had been sold, saving about 330 jobs in the area.

OCN is one of several northern communities the Look North Report and Action Plan focused on, and fits the Manitoba government’s priority to build stronger partnerships with industry and Indigenous communities.

“The aerospace industry and OCN identified a shared opportunity for a partnership to develop a local supplier for aerospace companies in the province,” said Ian Wishart, education and training minister with the Manitoba government.

“The partnership would be the first of its kind in Manitoba and could be a business model for other partnerships between industries and Indigenous communities.”

Manitoba Aerospace is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the aerospace industry through business development activities and human resources initiatives.

The manufacturing company is expected to supply products that are currently unavailable from local suppliers, but what those specific products will be is unclear.

“Several types of products could be produced, and part of the initial phase of work would be to narrow this down,” said Minister Wishart.

The initial phase will also determine potential sites for the company.

The Manitoba government will invest $85,000 through the departments of Education and Training and Indigenous and Northern Relations, and OCN will invest $25,000 to the initial stage of the project. This funding will see Manitoba Aerospace hire an external partner to develop a proposal and business plan for the company. The facility itself is expected to be up and running by September 2019, but

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