You can’t beat a good conversation…

Given the dynamic nature of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem, the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing launched a podcast series called Making it in Ontario. In it, host Nick Persichilli discusses the issues and opportunities facing the advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Ontario with the people confronting them every day. We’ll also be sharing their insights into the challenges they face. Listed below are the episodes. Have a listen here or on Spotify.

Season 3

Ian Howcroft
Skills Ontario

The only thing worse than training someone and having them leave is not training someone and having them stay.

On this episode of Making it in Ontario, Skills Ontario CEO and Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing board member Ian Howcroft sits down with Nick to talk about promoting manufacturing careers to younger generations, the importance of investing in training, and how manufacturers can better access Ontario’s skilled and talented workforce.

Learning all about
Ontario Economic Development

Ontario’s economic development professionals play a critical role in supporting investments, job creation, and innovation.

In this episode, Nick is joined by three prominent economic developers: Wendy Stark (Director, Business Retention and Expansion – Invest Windsor-Essex), Cephas Panschow (Development Commissioner – Town of Tillsonburg), and Ken Scholtens (Manager, Business Development and Expedited Services – Niagara Economic Development).

Season 2

Linda Stephenson
Ontario Cosmetics Manufacturing

Linda has over 30 years of experience in the cosmetics industry, including a stint at one of Ontario’s most successful cosmetics companies, Make-up Art Cosmetics (MAC). Founded in 1984, MAC found a market niche by offering products that featured innovative colours and quality not available from their competitors. Thanks to a company culture of professionalism, celebrity endorsements, and a ‘makeup counter experience’ led by makeup artists, the company grew quickly.

Ed Dawson, Linsey Pecile, &
Yvonne Pilon – Windsor, ON

In this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario’, Nick speaks with Ed Dawson and Linsey Pecile from Invest Windsor Essex, and Yvonne Pilon from WEtech Alliance about the Windsor-Essex’s manufacturing ecosystem. Windsor today is seeing an evolution from ‘automotive’ manufacturing to ‘automobility’. As the evolution continues, the technology used is also evolving. ‘Digital Twins’ is one of those pieces of technology and the focus of Ed and Linsey in the VR Cave.

Jon Azzopardi
LAVAL Tool and Mould Ltd.

In this episode of Making it in Ontario, President and CEO of LAVAL Tool and Mould Ltd., Jonathon Azzopardi, shares his thoughts about the future of scale manufacturing. As he explains, chasing scale manufacturing contracts is addictive because, if successful, it means a lot of revenue for your company. However, he warns that if you can’t land the next large scale contract (for whatever reason), you need a backup plan.

David Yeaman
Molded Precision Components

In this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario’, Nick speaks with the president and co-founder of Molded Precision Components (MPC), David Yeaman. Their discussion covered MediCA Park, the challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0, and the importance of company culture. According to David, a company’s ability to adapt to challenges is directly linked to its culture. The example he gave was the adoption of lights-out manufacturing, which is only possible with Industry 4.0 technology.

Paul Madden
3M Canada

What kind of advanced manufacturing ecosystem should we aspire to have in Ontario? Don’t ask us – ask our customers. Paul reminds us not to lose track of this. In this episode of Making it in Ontario, former Canadian and international 3M executive (and current Trillium Network board member) Paul Madden reminds us that to remain competitive, Ontario manufacturers – and the organizations that support them – must know exactly who their customers are and what it takes to keep them satisfied.

Eva, Talissa, & Shannon
Bridges, not Barriers Report

In Trillium’s new report, Bridges, not Barriers: Advancing Racialized Women in Ontario Manufacturing, we provided actionable recommendations for manufacturing companies to advance their workforce diversity efforts. This podcast episode features Nick’s interview with three of the report’s authors, Eva Kwan, Shannon Miller, and Talissa Watson, wherein they discuss in detail the six lessons of the report.

Nick and Brendan
Season 1 Recap

The general mood in the province has certainly changed since we launched ‘Making it in Ontario’, the official podcast of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, in April 2021. At that time, less than two percent of the population of Ontario was fully vaccinated – today we are nearing fifty percent. Restaurants, hair salons, and fitness centres are open or are preparing to open. It’s time to enjoy the summer, it’s time to get back to work, and it’s time to identify what the ‘new normal’ will look like.

Season 1

Sandra Pupatello & Tony Clement
Reshoring Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has invigorated debates about the importance of Canadian manufacturing and the challenges associated with international supply chains during crises. Over the last year and a half, these challenges have emerged as a top concern for industry stakeholders, whether they are related to semiconductors, vaccines, PPE, consumer goods, or building materials (in no particular order). Throughout all this, one organization has emerged in an effort to address these challenges: Reshoring Canada.

John Romano
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

In this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario,’ Nick hands Brendan the mic for a conversation with John Romano, the president and co-owner of the Nickel Brook Brewing Co. John and Brendan’s passion for Ontario’s craft brewing industry is evident throughout the episode. This passion is reflected in their love of Ontario craft beer and their interest in the industry’s explosive growth over the past two decades (the fastest-growing segment of manufacturing), which is documented in a recent Trillium Network report.

Jayson Myers

In this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario’, Nick and Brendan chat with NGen CEO Jayson Myers. As CEO, Jayson’s task “…is to build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. And I think, perhaps over the past year or so, we’ve seen how important it is to make things here in Canada – it helps to save lives.” With over 35 years of industry experience, Jayson has witnessed a lot of change in this sector – and we wanted to get his thoughts about how we got to where we are and where he thinks we are headed

Aaron Tisdelle
Girotti Machine

What’s behind the door? Turns out, not enough people know what’s behind the door of a machine shop. It’s more than just a machine. It’s also a rewarding career. If Ontario hopes to continue competing globally, it needs to attract more people to the jobs available in manufacturing. Aaron shares how he does it with his staff, and gives us his ideas on what he’d like to see done on a broader scale.

Kim & Simmie Thiara
AceTronic Industrial Controls

In this episode, we sat down with Kim and Simmie Thiara to discuss the challenges faced by women in manufacturing and the struggles of doing business in a pandemic. As the second generation owner of the company, Kim has had her share of challenges with gender discrimination. Her daughter Simmie has as well but her generation deals with it a bit differently.

Max Preston & Robert Graup
Axiom and Intex Tooling

Industry 4.0 has been described as the best tool in the belt for manufacturers looking to find production improvements. However, as our discussion with Max and Robert demonstrate, Industry 4.0 isn’t a tool in the belt, it IS the belt. This belt can contain all the latest tools to help you find efficiencies in your shop floor, or it weigh you down. Powerful tools must be wielded carefully.

Making it in Ontario
Brendan, Denise, & Nick

You can’t beat a good conversation. And this is the first one we released. In it, host Nick Persichilli chats with Trillium Managing Director Dr. Brendan Sweeney and Operations Manager Denise Deschênes-McKay to discuss why we are podcasting, the reports published thus far, and the lessons learned from Trillium’s research.