March 13, 2020
The Bay of Quinte area in Eastern Ontario is home to a thriving and growing advanced manufacturing community. From R&D through production and shipping, local advanced manufacturers find all the support they need in the Bay of Quinte manufacturing hub.
With its original inception in 1943, during WWII, and a few name changes along the way, the Quinte Manufacturers Association (QMA) celebrated 15 years in the spring of 2020, since it took the current form in 2005.
History of War Time Support
In 1943, several local manufacturing companies in the Bay of Quinte formed an association for the first time. The goal of the (then) Quinte District Superintendents’ Association was communication and problem-solving of common issues facing all manufacturing businesses.
At that time, a key concern of association members was what other companies were doing to support the war effort, with respect to wages, shop practices, and company policies. They were able to share ideas and strategies for surviving the war.
Continuing to Fight Together Against Global Pandemic
In many ways, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has similar elements to WWII. Advanced manufacturers and the QMA members are battling circumstances beyond their control, while working together for the health and safety of their staff, companies, and community.
Several Bay of Quinte manufacturing companies are considered essential services. For example, food processors are striving daily to keep food and household products available to Canadians. Many food processors are hiring additional workers to keep up with the demand, a procedure made easier with assistance from the QMA.
To ensure Canadians will continue to have access to necessary household products, many local Bay of Quinte logistics companies continue to move and store goods during the COVID-19 crisis.
Throughout the chaos and rapid changes, the QMA expedites virtual communication between companies via administrative services offered by the QEDC. Everything is designed to keep abreast of new information as it is released.
Manufacturing companies have reached out to the QEDC to source essential sanitation products, such as disinfectant and wipes, which allow the manufacturing plants to keep functioning while protecting their workers. The QEDC has also been connecting companies that make in-demand products to help with government sourcing portals during COVID-19.
Staying the Course for a Successful Future
Although daily efforts currently focus on the COVID-19 pandemic response, the QMA and the QEDC continue to orient their strategies for future success. The Bay of Quinte manufacturing community adapted and banded together to help each other during WWII and continues to thrive to this day, long after the war ended.
By employing an approach to the pandemic crisis that is similar to those historic roots, the Bay of Quinte manufacturers will once again overcome the obstacles and move strongly forward into the years ahead.
QEDC & QMA Helping Bay of Quinte Manufacturing Companies Thrive
With help from the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC), the QMA’s goal is to help manufacturing companies in the Bay of Quinte region improve their competitiveness, sustainability, and capabilities – efforts which are just as important today as they were in decades past.
Local manufacturers are sharing ideas virtually about keeping workers healthy, handling health protocols, and sourcing products. The “Member Needs Help” (a key feature of the QMA), provides online support to keep the industry going while the region’s manufacturers continue to produce food products, and retool for medical goods production, while safeguarding the health of their workers, and the community at large.
The deep-rooted and resilient Bay of Quinte manufacturers continue to operate in eastern Ontario, with the QEDC and the QMA ready to help new and existing businesses in the manufacturing sector confidently overcome the challenges of today and any that may lie ahead.
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