Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council

Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council

November 26, 2013 09:30 ET

Saskatchewan Manufacturers Outline Action Plan to Grow the Industry

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Nov. 26, 2013) - Saskatchewan needs a comprehensive strategy to nurture the province as a preferred destination for manufacturers to locate, invest, export from, employ and grow, according to a new, five-point action plan released today by the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council - a group of more than 35 leading industry executives.

The plan, tabled during Saskatchewan Manufacturing Week (November 25-29, 2013), calls for new supports to boost productivity performance amid a growing skills gap, enhance the image of manufacturing, better align public investment with the needs of business, ensure a balanced approach to infrastructure renewal, and improve the climate for the sector's overall competitiveness. In 2012, manufacturing employed roughly 27,000 Saskatchewan residents, generating more than $14 billion in sales and close to $45 billion in total economic activity.

"These are more than just numbers; they tell a story of a sector at the forefront of global competition, innovation, and technological change," explains Derek Lothian, executive director of the council - an initiative launched earlier this year by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). "The companies within it however are also competing with the world's best. And to succeed, they require a business climate that is equally world-class."

Among the 18 specific recommendations, the council calls for the creation of a Saskatchewan Manufacturing Centre of Excellence - a project recently announced by Premier Brad Wall in his annual Speech from the Throne. The proposed centre aims to help companies capitalize on an estimated $1 billion in lost sales due to workforce deficiencies, and encourage more youth and First Nations to explore career opportunities in manufacturing.

"The reality is that other jurisdictions are moving aggressively to develop their value-added manufacturing base and create high-paying jobs," says Lothian, who points out that the sector pays wages, on average, 15 per cent higher than the provincial average. "These are the types of jobs driving our communities - both urban and rural. Saskatchewan manufacturers have the products, the ingenuity, and the passion to the lead the world; our job is to ensure they have to tools they need to make that happen."

To download a copy of the plan, visit http://bit.ly/saskmfg.

About CME

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's largest and longest standing trade and industry association.

Founded in 1871, CME is the only organization of its kind to be formed by an Act of Parliament, and has offices in every province across the country - with the exception of PEI - as well as representatives in Washington, Latin America, and Europe.

As the voice for manufacturing and global business in Canada, CME works to promote the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and the success of Canada's goods and services exporters in markets around the world. Our core focuses are advocacy, intelligence, business opportunities, best practices, and networking.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82 per cent of the country's total manufacturing production and 90 per cent of all exports. For more information, visit www.cme-mec.ca.

About the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council

Established in January 2013, the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council is a CME-led initiative that brings together more than 35 leading industry executives to speak with one voice on priority issues impacting manufacturing in the province.

The council is currently chaired by Tom Kishchuk, president and CEO, Hitachi Power Systems Canada Ltd. For more information, including a full list of members, visit www.saskmanufacturing.ca.

Contact Information

  • Derek Lothian
    Executive Director, Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council
    Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
    306-713-3765
    derek.lothian@cme-mec.ca