Dave Waddell, Windsor Star
September 2, 2020

Canadian Association of Mold Makers chair Mike Bilton said the targeted funding from the Ontario government’s $10-million Automotive Modernization Program (AMP) is precisely what Southwestern Ontario’s automotive supply chain needs as it emerges from its COVID-19 slumber.

The province has announced it is opening the second round of applications for funding to help small and medium-sized businesses upgrade technology and improve their lean manufacturing processes.

“It’s very timely,” Bilton said.

“We’re in a recovery mode and a lot of businesses have lost a bit of money in the bank. It’s an opportunity to leverage this funding stream for Ontario to become supplier of choice.”

Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association president Flavio Volpe said over 90 companies applied for grants and $2-million will be distributed. He added $4 million will be awarded in each of the next two years of the three-year program.

“The cost and time pressures for small and medium sized companies means sometimes you make a decision to kick the can up the road,” Volpe said. “This program does two things — it allows them to keep pace with their OEM and Tier I customers and stay ahead of competitive jurisdictions.

“It’s important for the companies that access the program, but it’s important for the story it tells about Ontario. That this is the type of jurisdiction that places great value in the modernization of the process and isn’t just solely obsessed with the product.”

Volpe said an auxiliary benefit is the program also creates another stream of business for tool and mold-making companies.

AMP offers companies with fewer than 500 employees up to $100,000 in funding. The company supplies a matching portion to complete the project.

To be eligible the company must have less than $1 billion in global revenue and have at least 50 per cent of its revenue generated from the automotive sector.

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