The second round of the Ontario Agri-Careers Support Initiative, is now open and closes on September 8, 2022. The federal/provincial program of $4 million funds pilot projects that address employee needs at a local level.
Eligible food processing businesses with 50 or more employees can apply for up to $80,000 in funding, or up to $200,000 for collaborations between two or more businesses, to cover up to 70 per cent of eligible project costs. Selected projects will aim to help the sector attract, support and retain the workers it needs to continue producing the safe and high-quality food made in Ontario, strengthen the local supply chain and promote greater food security.
Examples of pilot projects that could be eligible for funding include:
- Transportation initiatives for employees to commute to the job site
- Childcare options for working parents
- Language proficiency solutions for workers with English as a second language
- Improving workspace environments
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council estimates an agri-food workforce shortfall of 123,000 by 2029 in Canada. Ontario is expected to represent the largest share of the shortfall.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, July 28, 2022 news release