With the announcement of Maple Leaf Foods’ upcoming poultry facility, more than 1,400 jobs need to be filled by 2021.
Looking to supply the demand is Fanshawe College.
The school is working with officials from Maple Leaf and the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to design a program specifically tailored to suit the needs of food processing facilities, similar to what’s set to arrive in south London within three years.
Bruce Smith, executive director of Fanshawe’s Business Development and Strategic Support, says the foundation for the upcoming program has already been laid in degrees being offered in biotechnology.
“The next step forward is to understand what the learning requirements are of the employer,” said Smith.
That step is expected to be taken by early 2019, when Smith says the College will meet with Maple Leaf officials and the LEDC to begin drawing up course content.
As for students looking to take the upcoming program, Smith says it remains unclear how long the study period will be.
“Once we have that conversation with the employer, we’ll know better.”
Smith adds that the desire to design a program specifically for food processing is one of Fanshawe’s many efforts towards staying ahead of the curve when it comes to manufacturing trends.
“It’s all about a future position where we’re providing training that facilitates machine-people interface,” said Smith.
“That’s really the future and that’s how we’re trying to position ourself.”
Along with Fanshawe, Brescia University College will also be designing education that will meet the needs of Maple Leaf’s upcoming poultry facility.
Construction on the facility is scheduled to start in spring of 2019, with operations expected to be up and running by 2021.