NORTH BAY -- North Bay’s manufacturing sector is getting a significant boost from the Doug Ford Conservatives, which will create up to 15 new full-time jobs.

The province is giving $2.5 million to help local manufacturing businesses expand. The money is coming through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.

“Almost all of these companies are exporters,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli told reporters. “So, the products are Ontario made and are shipped all over the world."

Boart Longyear Manufacturing Canada Ltd. is receiving $374,000 for a Wireline Production Automation Project.

"It was to bring some of the product back as we're having difficulties competing with the world market on that, especially from China and other foreign countries," said Justin August, Boart Longyear North Bay project manager. “Right now, we’re in an industry that’s evolved, especially over the last six months.

Faster and cheaper

The provincial investment will create two new jobs at Boart Longyear. August said the project will work to be performed faster and cheaper.

Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping is getting $978,000 to buy and install new equipment.

“It’s going to help us expand our prototyping capability at Canadore, in particular new 3-D modeling software,” said college President George Burton. “We’re getting new 3-D printers and new scanning equipment, so that we can continue to prototype and help businesses develop new products.”

More than $650,000 is being set aside for Nordic Minesteel Technologies Inc. to design and build a prototype battery powered Atlas Jack for large mining maintenance and heavy truck repair.

“We currently have three units operating in Latin America,” said marketing coordinator Heather Johnston. “This funding will help us get demo models out in the West Coast, here in Canada as well as Europe."

Johnston said the money will also help the company expand and create at least five new jobs.

“We need welders and we need mechanical designers with the battery technology,” said Johnston.

Operated remotely

Johnston said the new unit will be operated remotely and will be safer to use.

“We need the special electrical experts who can help us really expand. Traditional methods to lift and secure a truck are very dangerous, because you need to physically move a jack under there, so you’re putting yourself at risk,” she said. “It’s way more efficient and also there’s equal opportunity. Any man or woman regardless of their physical abilities are able to operate it.”

Drillco Mining and Exploration is receiving $500,000 for the commercialization of innovative clean-tech modular drilling systems.

“There’s no piece of the globe that doesn’t get a bit of these Ontario-made products,” said Fedeli.

The NOHFC's function is to promote economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects — big and small, rural and urban — that stimulate growth, job creation and skilled workforce development.