On January 25, 2017, the Ontario Industrial and Finishing Skills Centre (OIFSC) and District Council 46 were pleased to welcome the Honorable Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, to tour the facility. Minister Matthews also brought with her Yorke-Center Member of Provincial Parliament Monte Kwinter, John Cartwright, the president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council; and Rosemarie Powell, the executive director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network. OIFSC Executive Director Robert Bronk and DC 46 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer Bruno Mandic led the tour, highlighting some of the equipment purchased with Ontario’s Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund grants, and some projects that the advanced apprentices were working on.
The minister concluded her tour in the workshop, where the apprentices gathered to hear her speak about the way ahead for apprenticeship in Ontario. She also asked for comments and suggestions, which the apprentices were happy to provide. Some of the glaziers took the opportunity to show her the work that had gone into their skylights, which is the final team project for the glazing apprentices. The visit was a great way for apprentices to connect with their ministry, and Minister Matthews had the opportunity to gain some valuable insight into the apprenticeships for painter-decorators and glaziers that may help to inform her decisions on policies and initiatives.