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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Saskatchewan

FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR APPAREL AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY

Natural Resources Canada Minister Ralph Goodale and Saskatchewan

Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon today

announced funding of $428,160 under the Canada-Saskatchewan Western

Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) to facilitate growth of the

apparel and textile industry, which currently employs 1,800 people,

mostly in rural Saskatchewan.



The Apparel and Textile Association of Saskatchewan (ATAS) will use

the funding for a provincial technology resource centre to make the

latest sector-related technology available to the industry. The

centre will also provide facilities for advanced technical training,

and give the industry new manufacturing equipment to contract for

large-volume export orders.



"This WEPA funding will provide an exciting opportunity to create

further growth in an important industry sector, one that already

contributes substantially to our economy," said Minister Goodale on

behalf of Ron J. Duhamel, Secretary of State for Western Economic

Diversification.



"We're helping small businesses invest in their future by

providing them with the resources and technology to increase

their manufacturing capacities, develop new products and, in

turn, create employment opportunities."



Minister MacKinnon said that access to the tools of innovation

will enhance the capacity of the Saskatchewan industry to create

jobs and opportunities in rural Saskatchewan.



"Our apparel and textile industry is experiencing phenomenal

growth a 76 per cent increase in the period from 1990 to 1995

alone," MacKinnon said. "Many of these firms are in our smaller

centres, providing hundreds of jobs and opportunities for people

in rural Saskatchewan.



"This initiative will address growth restrictions around training

and access to technology. With this targeted funding, the

industry will be able to compete on an more equal footing with

their much larger competitors around the world, clearing the way

for even faster growth."



Saskatchewan's apparel and textile industry consists of 400

companies, with annual sales in excess of $45 million. Sales are

expected to reach $300 million by 2017 and the industry is

projected to create up to 4,000 new jobs in the next 20 years.



"We appreciate the support from both levels of government and our

industry is particularly proud of this partnership," said ATAS

President Janet Lee. "The project will enhance the economic

viability and awareness of our sewn product manufacturing."



The WEPA, administered by Western Economic Diversification Canada

and Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development, will

direct $40 million over the next four years toward initiatives

that encourage new jobs and support new economic infrastructure,

tourism products, export and marketing initiatives, and new

economic opportunities, including rural, northern and Aboriginal

economic development.



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For more information, contact::



Joanne Mysak

Manager, Consultations, Marketing and Communications

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Saskatoon

Phone: (306) 975-5942

WD Toll-Free No:1-888-338-WEST(9378)



WD World Wide Web site:

English - http://www.wd.gc.ca

French - http://www.deo.gc.ca



Marilyn J. Pollock

Executive Director

Apparel and Textile Association of Saskatchewan Inc.

Regina

Phone: (306) 565-0065



Bob Ellis

Manager, Corporate Affairs

Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-1691
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