Invest WindsorEssex increasing efforts to attract talent to the local labour market

Invest WindsorEssex is looking to add more help in the fight to retain and attract the workers needed to meet the region’s growing labour needs.

The economic development organization is in the process of hiring a Talent Attraction Specialist to engage with key stakeholders in the local education sector, government organizations and employers to address employment needs, while actively promoting Windsor-Essex as an attractive employment destination.

Stephen MacKenzie, President and CEO of Invest WindsorEssex, says talent is going to be a key component of our success during the transition from automotive to automobility.

“There’s a real competition for talent everywhere these days,” he says. “So we want to make sure our companies and existing companies have the talent they need. We are creating a new position, Talent Attraction Specialist, which will come in and coordinate the different activities going on with our ecosystem partners.” 

MacKenzie says they’re anticipating 30,000 jobs to be created over the next ten years and while they want existing people to get jobs, they’re going to need to recruit people to come here to fill the need.

The $5-billion NextStar Energy electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant is expected to employ over 2,500 people once operational, while hundreds of more jobs are expected to be created by additional supply chain companies.

MacKenzie says they’re going with the mantra that they’re either going to develop, reskill or attract talent, which includes attracting talent to local educational institutions for training.

“Make sure we understand the reskilling opportunities because the transition from automotive to automobility, there will be some excellent workers that may need retaining for the new technology,” he says. “Then of course, attracting talent to move from other places, again globally, to Windsor-Essex.”

MacKenzie says luckily we have a nice product in Windsor-Essex with wonderful opportunities for employment, advancement and quality of life.

“We’ve got the battery plant and we’ve got the supply chain companies, and the existing companies. We want to make sure there is a labour pool for everybody and that’s what we’ll be working toward as we go forward,” he adds.

Invest WindsorEssex is now reviewing over 80 applications that were submitted for the position with the goal of having the job filled by the end of August.