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OSHAWA – The City of Oshawa is shocked and disappointed with General Motors’ announcement that it will not allocate production to the Oshawa Assembly Plant beyond the end of 2019.

The City’s first priority is the well-being of our GM families who are impacted by this announcement. The City has contacted both the federal and provincial governments to engage them in identifying alternatives to the shut down and to ensure GM employees and their families are supported during this uncertain time. We are calling on GM to work with the City and all levels of government to identify new opportunities to transition Oshawa’s highly trained automotive workforce.

For more than 100 years, Oshawa’s autoworkers have been integral to the social and economic vitality of Oshawa, Durham Region, Ontario and Canada. The local GM workforce has consistently demonstrated its flexibility and ability to embrace innovation to continually transform the automotive sector for the benefit of the North American economy. 

With its rich automotive history, demonstrated technological innovation and investments, as well as a highly skilled and trained workforce, Oshawa is the ideal location and well-positioned to drive GM’s new focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.

Cutting-edge technological investments

Oshawa has already realized substantial investments in cutting-edge automotive technologies that support and advance the development of electric and autonomous vehicles in our community.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Oshawa is a world-class facility that produces cutting-edge automotive technologies and is a fully integrated Technology Development Site as part of the province’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) program. In August 2018, the federal government announced up to $9.46 million in funding to the University to enhance ACE. The investment will almost double the number of full-time jobs at ACE, generate new training opportunities, promote research and development and encourage the advancement of automotive technologies. The federal investment will allow ACE to become the world’s only climatic wind tunnel with a moving ground plane and the only facility in the world that can perform climatic and aerodynamic testing at the same time, which wold help researchers create cleaner, safer and more reliable vehicles.

Talented workforce

Oshawa’s focus on innovation and strategic investment has allowed our workforce to grow, shift and adapt over time. 

GM has acknowledged that our talented workforce has a proven record of accomplishment for setting high quality standards and winning international productivity awards. The skills and abilities of Oshawa’s professional autoworkers provide the city with the foundation to be innovative and tackle economic challenges.

Additionally, through unique market-driven programs, Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology are creating the next generation of engineering and technical leaders to support the growth of the advanced automotive industry.

Future opportunities

GM announced on November 26 its need to accelerate its transformation for the future by building upon world-class engineering in advanced technologies and increasing investment in electric and autonomous vehicle programs.

By further developing alternative opportunities here in Oshawa, our mutually beneficial relationship can continue long into the future. The City is committed to building upon our strong partnerships with GM, the federal and provincial governments and our post-secondary institutions and discussing future opportunities and support for our local GM employees and their families. Good jobs for Oshawa and Durham workers is a top priority.

For more information on business and investment news, visit www.oshawa.ca/business.

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