Community Matters: A focus on youth with Local Education Development Fund

James Scongack  Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Operational Services

Recently, Bruce Power and the County of Bruce announced the Ontario Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) Local Education Development Fund, which will provide financial and in-kind resources to enhance educational opportunities for local students.

Through fundraising and strategic partnerships, the fund will provide an additional $500,000 through 2024 for approved projects. This fund will enhance local education, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as environmental and Indigenous cultural awareness.

The fund will be accepting formal applications in early-2019 and seeks to support multi-year programming from 2019-24. Projects that are aligned with the Institute’s focus on youth opportunities around STEM, and environmental and Indigenous cultural awareness will be given preference during the selection period.

Applications for the Local Education Development Fund that outline suggested programming, how it will positively impact students, how it fits within the Institute’s vision, and the amount of funding being requested, can be emailed to

The Nuclear Innovation Institute will both be a Centre of Excellence for leading minds in the nuclear industry, and will also benefit the youth of the region. The Institute presents a unique opportunity for the region to be a global host for innovative technologies, while also linking to local elementary and secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, and training centres, to provide the next generation of innovators with exciting educational, career and learning opportunities close to home.

Though we have decided to no longer pursue building the Institute adjacent to the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre, we continue to look for a site that allows us to fulfill our vision. In the meantime, we opened a temporary location at the offices of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries, at 625 Goderich St., Port Elgin. This office, which also houses the Indigenous Relations Supplier Network, allows the Institute to begin its work, while also serving as a public information centre.

Economic Summit

The exciting news about the Local Education Development Fund was announced at the third annual Economic Development and Innovation Summit held in November. The Summit brought together dozens of nuclear supplier partners, municipal officials and staff, economic development professionals, and local business organizations. They received an update on the Bruce Power and County of Bruce joint Economic Development and Innovation Initiative, which has seen over 40 nuclear supplier companies either open local offices, create a new business, or expand operations to Bruce, Grey and Huron counties since it was launched in 2016.

This joint initiative has been more successful than we could have imagined, and our partners in the nuclear supply chain have wholeheartedly embraced Bruce, Grey and Huron as viable locations to expand or open their businesses. They’re hiring local people, drawing young families to the area, and providing a major boost to our local economy by putting strong businesses in our vacant storefronts, office buildings, and warehouses.

2018 was an exciting year at Bruce Power, and we expect 2019 to be even better.