According to “A Different Ontario”, the income and employment report by the Mowat Centre, the 2008-2015 recession had a deep impact on Ontario. But its effects were felt differently by Ontarians from different backgrounds and in different regions of the province.
For instance, while household median income growth all across Ontario from 2005 to 2015 was the slowest in Canada, median employment income declines were especially hard for those living in a number of mid-sized cities in southwestern Ontario and in an arc surrounding the Greater Toronto Area.
How Manufacturing Supports Life in Eastern Ontario
Smaller communities and regions - like those in eastern Ontario - where manufacturing is so important need continued support through economic development initiatives. The skilled workforce of the future will need access to trades and apprenticeship training, in combination with college or university programs. To retrain or upgrade employments skills for adults already in the workforce, effective skills training also needs to be provided, particularly where employment numbers are falling.
The Ontario East Economic Development Commission (OEEDC) has already initiated this support to the way of life in eastern Ontario with the Eastern Ontario Manufacturing Workforce Development Project (EOMWDP). Training programs like Elevate PLUS provide short-term training to get workers on the job within weeks. Post-secondary education programs in manufacturing-related fields provide more in-depth training and skills development.
The situation for today’s young adults in this post-recession period is more difficult than for previous cohorts. It is imperative to encourage them to consider manufacturing jobs. In order to convince young adults of the advantages of manufacturing jobs, you need to appeal to their values, which include:
- High-tech: manufacturing is on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.
- Assurance that automation will not eliminate jobs: instead, automation will change jobs.
- Purpose and meaning in their jobs: these are important to this cohort, both in the Ontario East community and across the nation - and manufacturing has a purpose.
- Part of a growing industry: manufacturing drives the Canadian economy, accounting for more than 5% of the national GDP.
- Positive company culture: a supportive, family environment where their input matters in working toward a product the entire team is proud of.
Now Is the Time to Invest in the Future of Manufacturing
Download this infographic to learn some new strategies on how to invest in and attract the future workforce of manufacturing and support the way of life in eastern Ontario.