New food processing centre to be built at Assiniboine Community College

(Shaun Cameron/Submitted)

Assiniboine Community College, at Brandon, Man.,, is getting a new Food Processing Centre for Animal Proteins (FPC) thanks to funding from the provincial and federal governments along with industry stakeholders. A combined $640,000 is earmarked to complete construction of the centre.

“The Food Processing Centre will allow Assiniboine to be responsive to the workforce development needs of employers, helping us to educate students and prepare them for in-demand jobs within this industry,” says Mark Frison, president of Assiniboine Community College. “We are extremely appreciative of the contributions from industry and government to make this space possible.”

The new training facility is located at the college’s Victoria Avenue east campus in Brandon, and will have a specialized focus on animal protein. The first program scheduled to be delivered in the space is an 11-month Food Processing (Animal Proteins) certificate program. That program, which commences next month, will have students learning protein processing and other necessary skills to gain employment within the industry. Future use of the centre lends itself to customized industry training and applied research.

Funding for the centre is through a collaboration with Maple Leaf Foods, HyLife, Manitoba Pork, UFCW Local 832, as well as the Brandon Hog and Livestock Show. Construction will be complete in May.

According to a news release, the FPC will address workforce supply shortages in Manitoba’s meat processing industry. In January 2017, the Canadian Agriculture Human Research Council found that rural meat-processing facilities have an employment vacancy rate of over 9.5 per cent. These vacancies restrict processing capacity and affect future growth.

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