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CME, Ontario Government SMART Partnership Saves 6,395 jobs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2009) - Canadian Manufacturers
& Exporters (CME), together with the Ontario Ministry of Economic
Development and Trade, today announced that 6,395 jobs have been
retained during the deepest economic slowdown since the Great
Depression, as a result of the first Phase of the joint private-public
SMART partnership.


CME's SMART program was established in 2008 with a $25 million
funding contribution provided by the Ontario Government. The program is
designed to support productivity improvement initiatives on the part of
small and medium-sized manufacturers across Ontario, and specifically
aims to improve production processes, energy efficiency, and the
management of information and communication technologies. The funding
provided by the Ontario Government has helped 435 Ontario companies
become more competitive during this period of economic turmoil. Another
3,312 new jobs are forecast to be created as a direct result of
projects yet to be completed under this initiative..


Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello made
the announcement today during a meeting of CME members and Members of
the Legislative Assembly at Queen's Park.

"Investing in new
processes, new technologies and new skills is essential to remaining
competitive in today's economy," said Minister Pupatello. "We're proud
to partner with CME in providing Ontario's small and medium-sized
manufacturers with the tools they need to succeed. The Ontario
government is committed to a strong and vibrant manufacturing sector."


"SMART is pleased to assist manufacturers in the nation's
industrial heartland to make the necessary investment in their future,"
said Ian Howcroft, vice president of CME Ontario. "Manufacturing is
working for many smaller companies in Ontario, thanks to our SMART
partnership with the Ontario government."


Approved projects are as diverse as the Ontario manufacturing
sector and range from upgrading equipment capabilities to switching to
cellular manufacturing; implementing ERP systems to energy efficient
lighting.


"Through SMART, CME is proud to play a leadership role in helping
manufacturers in Ontario become better equipped to compete and win in
the new economy," added Howcroft. "As a direct result of this
partnership with the Ontario government, many manufacturers are now
equipped with the tools they need to get smart about the way they do
business, get fit so they can survive today's tough times and get ready
for growth and innovation."


An entire list of SMART recipients can be found at www.cme-smart.ca.

Background

The
government of Ontario provided $25 million in funding for the SMART
Program as part of the 2008 provincial budget. Ministry of Economic
Development staff worked closely with CME to develop and prepare the
program for launch.

CME, Ontario Government SMART Partnership Saves 6,395 jobs

All
Ontario-based manufacturers who have between 10 - 500 employees per
plant were eligible to apply for up to a $50,000 grant from the
program, which is funded by the Ontario government and sponsored by
CME. SMART focused on four specific improvement areas - productivity,
IT best practices, health and safety or energy efficient programs. Each
plant can qualify for an award of up to $50,000 and funds were matched
between SMART and the manufacturer. All funding applications were
subject to an extensive screening an evaluation process by industry
experts.


Based on the success of the first Phase of project funding, the
federal Government's new Economic Development Agency for Southern
Ontario, FEDDEV, has committed an additional $15 million to CME's SMART
program for 2009.


For more information on the SMART Program, visit www.cme-smart.ca or contact the SMART Team at 1-877-913-4263.
Canadian
Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's leading trade and
industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business
in Canada.


The association directly represents more than 10,000 leading
companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME's members are small and
medium-sized enterprises. As Canada's leading business network, CME,
through various initiatives including icosmo.ca
and the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, touches
more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in
manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.


CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.





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