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Heard of the Eastern Ontario Manufacturing Workforce Development Plan?

Heard of the Eastern Ontario Manufacturing Workforce Development Plan?

The Eastern Ontario Manufacturing Workforce Development Plan (or the EOMWDP, for short) was created by a subset of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (OEEDC) and workforce development offices in the region.

The EOMWPD is a strategic alliance of stakeholders in eastern Ontario, who support the long-term success of the manufacturing industry. Experts in economic and workforce development are identifying and predicting the challenges in hiring, retaining, and attracting quality talent to the high-tech manufacturing sector.

Modern Tactics for Manufacturing Workforce Development

Much like MDB Insight takes a holistic approach to economic development, workforce development, and market research, the EOMWDP is taking a holistic approach to manufacturing workforce development: Helping manufacturers, attracting job seekers, educating and empowering youth, and uplifting the region. A primary objective for the EOMWPD is to maximize the labour pool available for manufacturers in eastern Ontario. Key tactics to achieve this holistic approach include:

1. Marketing Manufacturing as a Career of Choice

The EOMWDP is setting out to educate and empower the youth in the region to understand just how fulfilling and exciting a career in manufacturing is.

Many youth may not know about manufacturing career options in engineering, technology, or the skilled trades. The EOMWDP is crafting content to help eastern Ontario’s youth see themselves on this career path with informative - but also fun and interesting - blog posts and premium content offers. In raising awareness, more youth who are genuinely intrigued and well-suited to a high-tech career will be able to find their calling and contribute to the eastern Ontario region. 

Marketing Manufacturing as a Career of Choice

Youth in the region, before or during post-secondary education, will be more aware of the careers available right in their hometown. Many students may automatically associate cutting-edge jobs with large city centres, but the EOMWDP is rewriting that narrative. Youth can have it all in eastern Ontario, along with a much more affordable cost of living that allows them to live well, earlier on in their careers.

2. Strategies to Address Predicted Skills Shortages

With the Baby Boomer generation nearing retirement, there is a predicted skills shortage on the way for the Canadian labour force. The EOMWDP is equipping manufacturing managers with strategies to improve attraction and retention to their companies now before the mass exodus. Strategies include keeping Boomer employees on a part-time basis to ensure skills transfer, and tapping into new labour markets to increase diversity.

The EOMWDP has also worked to bring together education and training providers in the region with workforce developers and companies. Programs, like Elevate PLUS, that are tailored specifically to the manufacturing industry are available, and are actively improved through these initiatives. By streamlining the training process, and ensuring the skills required for manufacturing are delivered, a continuous stream of highly qualified labour will be available.

The training programs and educational institutions make it easy for people to stay in the region as they prepare for their future careers. Job seekers are then able to easily find work and enjoy a high quality of life in eastern Ontario, as compared to more expensive city centres. Efforts of the EOMWDP are keeping residents in the region to enjoy both excellent lifestyles and fulfilling careers.

3. Improving Attraction and Retention to Manufacturing in Eastern Ontario

The EOMWDP is also arming local business owners and hiring managers with strategies to improve attraction and retention. Many manufacturers are looking to fill predicted labour shortages in the skilled trades over the coming years as the Baby Boomers begin to retire. Attracting the Millennial generation to careers in manufacturing requires an adjusted approach to marketing these high-tech careers.

Strategies for improved attraction to manufacturing include:

  • Promoting the positions on social media and online job search tools
  • Discussing company culture as a key benefit to employment
  • Tapping into the current workforce to learn how to improve
  • Investing in training to maximize retention and employee satisfaction

By helping local manufacturers to increase employee retention and attract the best and brightest to their companies, the EOMWDP is keeping business in eastern Ontario, where it continues to thrive.

Manufacturing workforce development requires this kind of holistic approach because it is more than the machines that create or the products made in this sector. Manufacturing is about the people who continue to innovate, build, work, and live in and around eastern Ontario.

Tools and Strategies for Economic Development

In addition to the tactics and strategies above, the Regional Labour Supply and Demand ReportsTM tool from MDB Insight can measure the ongoing availability of local manufacturing jobs across the region. 

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