JOHNSTOWN - A new training partnership to help the manufacturing industry in Eastern Ontario attract workers was announced today at Prysmian Group.

Pathways to Production is a SkillsAdvance Ontario project to help 50 unemployed participants gain the skills and work experience needed by Leeds Grenville manufacturing employers. Training for the new cohort is expected to begin this September.

Leeds Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark announced $500,000 in provincial government funding. Partners are Brockville's Employment and Education Centre, Employment Ontario counterparts KEYS Job Centre in Gananoque and CSE Consulting in Prescott, and the economic development offices of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Brockville, Gananoque and Prescott.

"Through this project, we're giving 50 people a fair shot at leaving unemployment and gaining good, permanent jobs," said MPP Clark, who is also the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Leeds Grenville manufacturing sector employees have indicated there is a skills gap in the area. Research conducted by Counties and City of Brockville Economic Development offices support the claim, as do employment service providers.

"We really support it and are looking forward to the project getting underway," said John Edwards, Director of Operations for Prysmian Group.

Employers are encourage to contact economic development and employment services representatives. For more information contact Ann Weir at 613-342-3840, ext. 5365, or send her an email .