Ontario Building the Auto Manufacturing Workforce in Windsor
New program will introduce students to good-paying careers in growing auto sector
[Windsor] — The Ontario government is investing up to $500,000 to support St. Clair College’s innovative project to connect the next generation of workers to the province’s growing auto sector.
This project, part of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network’s Regional Future Workforce (RFW) program, will introduce over 500 local students to opportunities in the auto sector and help them develop the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs after graduation.
The funding was announced today by Andrew Dowie, Member of Provincial Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh.
“Our government is building a strong Ontario and strengthening the economy by supporting key investments in communities like Windsor,” said MPP Andrew Dowie. “This investment will help the next generation find good-paying jobs in our auto sector in Windsor.”
The RFW program aims to bridge the gap between students, of all ages, and the auto industry, while also focusing on reducing the stigma associated with careers in the skilled trades.
St. Clair College is one of 14 non-profit organizations, school boards and post-secondary institutions that will receive support through the RFW program.
“In my 30-plus years with the college, perhaps no single project has so comprehensively demonstrated the adage that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ than this Regional Future Workforce Program,” said St. Clair College President Patti France. “Look at the partnership: educational institutions, government, the private sector, and a number of organizations supporting young people, new Canadians, and women. It is precisely the sort of broadly based yet narrowly focused undertaking that we’ve needed to truly establish an appreciation among our young people of the exciting and rewarding STEM-based opportunities in our present and future job markets.”
The automotive and mobility industry is undergoing a dramatic resurgence in Ontario, as well as significant disruption. The need for talent in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields specific to automotive and mobility is increasing due to the industry talent requirements from the recent announcements of battery electric vehicle production and associated battery manufacturing. The emphasis on STEM must begin in elementary school and be sustained throughout secondary and post-secondary education, in order to provide that talent pipeline. St. Clair college proposes to educate elementary and secondary students through applied learning camps, whereby the students learn the automotive and mobility fundamentals by applying them to programming and building a robotic vehicle. Curriculum will be developed specifically targeting two age groups, grades 5-9 and 10-12.
“As we continue to grow Ontario’s auto supply chain, it’s important that we empower students and connect them with exciting opportunities in the sector,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We’re attracting billions of dollars worth of investment from companies worldwide that will create thousands of new jobs.”
“Careers in Ontario’s auto sector offer life-changing opportunities, with good pay, pensions and benefits,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government will continue to invest in innovative projects that help workers and jobseekers get the skills they need to land better jobs with bigger paycheques in the auto industry.”
Over the last two and a half years, Ontario has attracted over $25 billion in automotive and electric vehicle battery related investments.
“As we continue to strengthen Ontario’s position as a global leader in the automotive sector, the Regional Future Workforce program is critical to ensuring we have the skilled workers needed to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
— Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation
“OCI is grateful for the support from the Government of Ontario. The three core elements that make the Regional Future Workforce program stand out are its regional reach, the inclusion of equity-deserving groups, and the reach across multiple audience segments.”
— Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, Ontario Centre of Innovation
“Ontario has emerged on the global stage as the jurisdiction that will usher in the future of the automotive sector as it transitions through electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility solutions. The Regional Future Workforce program is another great example of Government of Ontario’s commitment to ensuring that we have a highly-skilled and diverse workforce across the province to power this industry for years to come.”
— Raed Kadri, Vice-President Strategic Initiatives, Ontario Centre of Innovation, and Head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network
- The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is an Ontario government initiative to accelerate the development, testing, commercialization and deployment of the next generation of electric, connected, and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies. The initiative is led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation with support from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
- Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly supports approximately 100,000 jobs in Ontario, as well as hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs. Ontario’s auto supply chain comprises over 700 parts firms, over 500 tool, die and mold makers, and over 300 connected and autonomous companies.
- Through the Skills Development Fund, Ontario is investing more than $4.7 million to support two innovative projects to help over 360 people land full-time jobs in the auto manufacturing sector. These free programs will provide participants with skills for careers in machine operation, assembly, quality control, and logistics while also preparing automotive technicians and those interested in the industry for work in the emerging electric vehicle field.
Executive Assistant Andrew Dowie, MPP
Ph: 519-251-0437 Cell: 226-724-6978