The good news continues to be generated by Canadore College.  The announcements on Friday at “The Village” are tremendous news for North Bay and area, as well for the future of our community and Canadore College.  What started as and educational exchange between Canadore College and Nigeria, has developed into a long-term partnership, that has the possibility of being a complete game changer for both the college and our district. 

As we heard on Friday, a twenty-year educational agreement was inked between the Canadore and MiSTEDUCare Canada Ltd. The agreement will see approximately two hundred students from Nigeria, that will attend Canadore annually with primary focus, on nursing and respiratory therapy.  The two entities will continue to explore additional opportunities in media, aviation, and advanced manufacturing.  The future possibilities of this partnership are limitless, and congratulations are in order for President Burton and his entire team for the vision and determination to move this forward.

For any that missed the announcements, it does not end there.  The second announcement continued on the development lines and North Bay/Canadore College was selected as the future sight for a one hundred thousand square foot pharmaceutical plant.  The plant is expected to employ up to one hundred and twenty employees and the location will also house a training and laboratory space for Canadore College who in turn will train future employees, for the facility.  This is new thinking and new industry that will diversify this area’s economy and has the potential to provide the impetus for additional opportunities in this sector.

During the announcement last week, we were introduced to many of the key partners that will spearhead this innovative public/private partnership.  Many were re-introduced to Frank Suraci who will be the local point man for World Care Canada in his capacity of Executive Vice-President.  Frank was born and raised in North Bay and educated at Scollard Hall and then graduated from Canadore College.  Frank and his wife Judy spent the better part of the last three decades in various parts of Canada, before returning to North Bay a couple of years ago to semi retire…or so he thought.

In introduction to George Burton and his senior management team at “The Village” and Frank was hooked.  Many commonalities between Frank’s prior education/work experience and the vision of “The Village”, evoked much discussion between the two parties.  The desire to give something back to his hometown, that would benefit the local economy was one of the key drivers behind the collaboration and the great news announcements, on Friday.  Welcome home Frank and family, we look forward to following the progress of these terrific initiatives.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.