AORS secures funding for Municipal Equipment Operator course

The Association of Ontario Road Supervisors (AORS) has received funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) to help address the labour shortage faced by municipal public works departments. 

The funding, provided through MLITSD’s Skills Development Fund, will enable the creation of a specialized Municipal Equipment Operator course designed to equip future municipal employees with the skills needed to maintain and improve community infrastructure.

“This investment from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Skills Development is a crucial step towards ensuring that Ontario’s municipalities have access to the skilled workforce needed to maintain the essential infrastructure that supports our communities,” said John Maheu, Executive Director of AORS. 

As Ontario municipalities’ grapple with the challenges posed by an aging workforce and increasing demands for infrastructure maintenance, the need for skilled municipal workers has never been more pressing. 

The Municipal Equipment Operator course, developed in collaboration with industry experts and educators, will provide comprehensive training in heavy equipment operation, basic road maintenance techniques and legislative compliance.

“As Ontario’s growing population increases the need for new road infrastructure, as well as the pressures on road maintenance, municipal public works departments are facing growing demands for more workers,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, and Skills Development. 

One of the primary barriers for municipal public works roles is the requirement for a DZ license. Successful graduates of the Municipal Equipment Operator course will not only receive training in heavy equipment operation, but will also undergo testing for their DZ license, removing a barrier to entering the field.

“Over the past year, AORS has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the critical need for skilled municipal workers,” said Mike Alcock, Immediate Past President of AORS. “This funding represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to ensure that municipalities have the resources and support they need to maintain essential infrastructure to keep our communities safe.”