Ontario Supporting Laid-Off Workers in Espanola

In Provincial

New Action Centre will help over 480 pulp and paper workers from Domtar get back to work quickly

The Ontario government is investing $426,000 in a new Action Centre to help the 484 pulp and paper workers impacted by the Domtar layoffs in Espanola get back to work quickly. A wide range of services and tailored supports will be offered to help workers transition, including seminars on resume writing and cover letters, job searches, financial planning workshops and mental health resources.

“To prepare for the future of work, we need to build a stronger Ontario that leaves no one behind,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to invest in the Domtar Action Centre to give a hand-up to the hard-working men and women of Espanola so they can land better jobs and bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”

Working in partnership with Unifor Local 74, Unifor 156 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 956, the Domtar Action Centre will provide customized resources to help affected workers prepare for other well-paying manufacturing work in Northern Ontario. The centre will also connect workers with the resources and training they need to find jobs in forestry, the skilled trades and other in-demand industries.

“Although our ultimate wish would be for all Unifor Local 74 membership to have the opportunity to work together again one day, we are grateful to have been granted approval for the Unifor (Domtar) Action Centre,” said Chris Presley, Unifor local 74 President. “We would like to thank the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development and Unifor national for the contributions and support we have been given during this difficult time. Our action centre coordinators and peer helpers look forward to helping our members find the resources that will help them ease into this transition – this would not have been possible without the partnership between the Ministry and Unifor.”
Ontario invests more than $1 billion each year in employment services and training programs like Better Jobs Ontario and the Skills Development Fund Training Stream to help workers train for in-demand and meaningful careers in their communities. These investments are part of the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support and protect workers, making Ontario the best place to work, live and raise a family.

“Since learning of the plan to idle Domtar’s Espanola Mill, our government has been there for workers to ensure they have the supports they need,” said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Today’s investment reaffirms that commitment as we continue to support workers impacted by the closure.”

Quick Facts

The Domtar Action Centre will operate until at least October 2024 and is located at 77 Centre Street in Espanola.

Domtar and Unifor Local 74 will also be investing $184,600 in the action centre.

There are roughly 11,000 jobs going unfilled in Northeastern Ontario.

With 700 locations province-wide, the Employment Ontario network offers a range of services and supports that help job seekers find training and job opportunities and businesses find the talent they need.

The action centre is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

“Unifor Local 156 is very grateful to National Union and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) for the quick response in getting the Unifor Domtar Action Centre up and running. We hope to make the transition as easy as possible for all affected members of the mill. We are looking forward to getting our members into the Action Centre for retraining and any skills upgrading they may need, and value the partnerships made on the important labour adjustment committee to help these efforts.”
– Dustin Drouin
Unifor Local 156 President

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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