Meat-processing training centre opens in Brandon

Food Processing Centre for Animal Proteins has held its grand opening

Assiniboine Community College’s new Food Processing Centre for Animal Proteins is officially open for business.

The facility held a grand opening last week, hosting donors who contributed to its construction.

FPCAP will allow the college to provide training and experience to those interested in working in the meat-processing industry, which will help address a labour shortage in the sector, the college said in a media release.

A combined $1.165 million in funding came from industry and government partners including the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, Maple Leaf Foods, HyLife Foods, Manitoba Pork, UFCW Local 832, and The Brandon Hog and Livestock Show.

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“The growing world demand for protein provides our industry here in Manitoba with tremendous opportunities in new production and processing jobs,” said Blaine Pedersen, minister of agriculture and resource development in the release.

“This new facility will ensure that there is a steady stream of qualified individuals to work in our processing industry for years to come, and will keep our province at the leading edge of the protein sector.”

Long-term plans for the centre include customized industry training, specialized program offerings and applied research.

“A key focus of Assiniboine’s strategic direction is providing leadership in the agriculture sector,” said Mark Frison, president of Assiniboine Community College. “The addition of this centre helps the college continue to move forward in this important area while responding to industry labour needs.”

The 3,067-square-foot facility is housed at the college’s Victoria Avenue East campus in Brandon.

Students in the food-processing program also operate a retail store adjacent to the centre, selling the meat products made in the program. The college recently held a naming contest for the retail space, now called The Protein Pantry.

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