Cascades Action Centre will help 180 laid-off workers in Belleville and Trenton find new employment

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The Ontario government has announced an investment of $445,252 in a new ‘action centre’ aimed at helping the 180 workers impacted by the closure of Cascades’ manufacturing plants in Trenton and Belleville connect with services and training they need to get back to work quickly. 

Run by Unifor, the Cascades Action Centre will operate until April 2025 and support laid-off workers represented by Unifor Local 1470 and the Independent Paperworkers of Canada Local 7. Unifor National provided an in-kind contribution of $2,500 for the action centre.

The centre will be located at 250 Sidney St. in Belleville.

“Cascades’ decision to close its facilities in Trenton and in Belleville was sad news for the skilled workers they employed and for our entire region, but there remains great opportunity within the Quinte manufacturing sector,” stated MPP Todd Smith in a media release. “I’m pleased that our government is standing by these workers to offer the training and supports they need to find their next position. The Action Centre is an important resource for that process.”

The action centre will host workshops and seminars, provide peer-to-peer support and job search assistance, teach financial management and computer skills and provide certification training in Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and other short-term training. These customized resources will help affected workers prepare for other well-paying jobs in manufacturing and the skilled trades in Eastern Ontario.

“Ontario is a world leader in manufacturing and our government stands with its workers,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development in a media release. “Our government is investing in the Cascades Action Centre to ensure that these workers in Belleville and Trenton have access to resources and opportunities to land better jobs and bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”

“Providing peer-led support during this challenging transition in workers’ lives will offer the best opportunity to accessing the training needed to secure new work,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Losing a large employer presents challenges for the entire community which we hope the Action Centre can help address.”

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