World Care Canada has announced two major initiatives for North Bay.

The first is the creation of a 20-year training program with Nigeria and the second is establishing a $45-million pharmaceutical plant in North Bay.

Doctor Paul Davis, the CEO of World Care Canada announced the plant which Frank Suraci, a former resident of North Bay and Vice President of World Care Canada then explained further.

Suraci says a feasibility study for the plant will help determine where the plant will be located.

He says World Care Canada has four to five sites in mind but the snow is making it tough to get a closer look at the properties.

Suraci says the plant would employ about 120 people in the first phase and the goal is to hire as many of those people locally as possible.

“Start the education process now,” Suraci said following the announcement.

“We’ll have a website up.  We’ll have job fairs.  We’ll look to talk to the high schools.  We’ll do everything we can to keep the jobs local.”

As for the nature of the jobs, they are wind ranging from hiring people with robotics skills, pharmacologists, lab techs and people with PhDs.

Once complete, the plant would produce five to 10 products.

However, for competitive reasons, the product types are not being disclosed at this time.

Suraci says one factor that still needs to be determined is the number of pills to produce because the market is large.

The plan is to supply the finished products worldwide and one area is Nigeria in Africa which is growing.

Once a site is chosen and regulatory matters cleared, it’s hoped construction can begin in the spring of 2020 with the opening to follow sometime during 2021.

As for wanting to locate the pharmaceutical plant in North Bay, Suraci says a dollar goes farther in the northern community than it does in Toronto.

He says people working at the plant will be able to afford a home unlike trying to buy property in Toronto which can set people back more than $1 million.

The finished plant will be 100,000 square feet in size.

Part of the building will be set aside for academic laboratory and classroom space for Canadore College.

Most of the building, 55,000 square feet will be devoted to production while 15,000 square feet is earmarked as warehousing space and another 15,000 square feet will serve as laboratory and administrative rooms.

Professor James Makinde announcing 20-year training program at Canadore College involving Nigerian students

In addition to the pharmaceutical plant, Friday’s announcement from World Care Canada includes a 20-year training agreement with Canadore to train Nigerian students in health care areas, primarily as nurses and in the area of respiratory therapy.

Professor James Makinde, the President and CEO of MiST EduCare Canada, which is a division of World Care Canada, says the agreement will see 200 to 250 Nigerian students attend Canadore each year.

Makinde says the trained students would head back to Nigeria after completing their programming.

He says the country is capacity building in order to meet its needs.

He says Nigeria is catching up to China and India in terms of population and it’s the future because the Chinese market is becoming saturated.

Makinde says the first cohort of students arrives this summer.

He says their length of stay varies because it depends on what they have studied previously or if they are making a career change.

He says nursing students who already have some qualifications will be at the school for 10 months.

Students who are switching disciplines, for example, if they are going from chemistry to nursing, would have to get a degree in nursing and study for three years.

Students coming out of high school would enrol in the regular four-year program.

“For Canadore College it’s a mega-expansion,” Makinde said.

“For North Bay, it’s going to be another industry.  Nigeria has the capacity to supply as many students as Canadore College can take.

The reference to another industry is not an exaggeration.

Having about 200 additional students in the city each year translates into $2.5 million annually.

The dollar amount takes into account, the students’ tuition, their lodgings and additional expenditures like entertainment.