Niagara region’s manufacturers are diverse and multi-faceted. Wine, food, medical and other products, machinery, as well as traditional and advanced manufacturing are all at home here. The region’s primary manufacturing industries however are in fabricated products.
Manufacturers in Niagara region have the capacity to engage in a number of processes within the same facility including casting, deformation, material removal, and assembly – 68 percent of the region’s manufacturers operate in multiple sectors simultaneously. A number of value-added services are offered through the region’s business community such as die-casting, mold making, and steel refining. The development and innovative use of advanced robotics, 3-D modeling, automation, the application of advanced materials and control systems, and other ITC underscore the progress being witnessed with the region’s manufacturers.
Both of Niagara region’s post-secondary institutions, Brock University and Niagara College, are collaborating with many of the region’s leading manufacturers to focus the development of new products, methods or processes with commercial value. Some of the most recognized names in the world have their headquarters in Niagara. Airbus Group’s helicopter division, Airbus Helicopters Canada is located in Fort Erie, as is Fleet Canada (pictured above). General Motors Canada has had a long history in the region and currently have 1,570 hourly and salaried employees based out of their St. Catharines plant producing Gen V V8 engines and GF6 transmission. General Motors have also indicated they will be moving some production from Mexico which should bode well for General Motors’ St. Catharines operations.
The availability of a skilled workforce, affordable serviced land, multi-modal transportation links including class III rail-way, docks and stevedoring facilities, and logistics companies has long made Niagara region home to a fabricated metals cluster. Plus the advantage of having three entrance points to the U.S. market via Niagara/New York border crossings.
According to KPMG’s Canadian Manufacturing Outlook 2014, as the Canadian and global economies rebound and continue to grow, the industry’s opportunities for gaining influence also expand. If Canadian manufacturers are able to keep important global industry trends in sight and seize the opportunities they bring, the Niagara region will be well positioned for continued growth and success in the years to come.
Domenic Ursini, Chair of the Niagara Industrial Association Board, echoes this sentiment, “Manufacturing continues to play an integral role within the Niagara economy. We have a mandate to build strong business opportunities with local governments to foster a relationship that contributes heavily to the success of the region’s manufacturers.