Today the City of Kingston announced $216,200 in grant funding from the Government of Ontario to support the Kingston & Region Community Training Farm Project. This multi-partner workforce development initiative will deliver innovative skills training that responds to the labour market needs of the agriculture sector while creating local employment opportunities.
“We’re excited to partner with Minister McNaughton and the Ontario government on this exciting initiative,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “This collaboration will strengthen the resilience of the local food ecosystem and position the Kingston community for economic growth.”
The Kingston & Region Community Training Farm will be housed on the property of the Collins Bay Institution and will be managed by Loving Spoonful, with St. Lawrence College supporting the training needs of program participants.
The project is funded through the Government of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund.
“Workers in Ontario’s agriculture sector are vital to keeping our shelves stocked and food on the table,” says Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “That is why we’re working with the City of Kingston to connect young people to exciting careers in farming and ensure local employers have the workers they need to grow their businesses.”
In addition to supporting farmers and local food production in a sector that experienced significant labour market shortages pre-pandemic, it will also focus on skills needs and underrepresented groups who have faced some of the largest economic impacts of the pandemic.
- $216,200 in grant funding has been awarded by the Government of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund.
- 16 employers across the Kingston Area will be participating in the Kingston & Region Community Training Farm program.
- 30 individuals will participate in the program.
- The program will include:
- Training in vegetable production
- Participation in Ignatius Farm’s New Farmer Training Program – a part-time online training curriculum, facilitated in partnership with the Ignatius Jesuit Centre, the Ecological Farmer’s Association of Ontario, Everdale, and the National Farmer’s Union
- Monthly farm tours and workshops throughout the region
- Participation in introductory carpentry, welding, and electrical skills training
The program is scheduled to begin in May 2022 and conclude in March 2023.