Windsor-Essex continues to benefit from battery plant

Bob Bellacicco/CTV Windsor

The spin off effect of the battery plant continues.

“When you think about the level of diligence a company like Stellantis or LG does before they locate a facility anywhere, for them to have selected Windsor for their new production facilities really says a lot about the community,” said Ron Harker, President of Convoy Technologies.

That’s one of the reasons he chose to bring his company to Windsor-Essex.

The company manufactures industrial grade safety products including cameras, monitors, and more, serving the heavy-duty and on and off-road industries.

They plan to open later this year and bring 50 jobs with them. Harker considered Indiana, home to their head office, Mexico, and Windsor, Ont.

“Windsor absolutely made the most sense for us,” said Harker.

Harker was impressed by many things during the courting period, including the talent pool and post-secondary support.

“I believe Windsor is just a massive up and comer in terms of its relationship to the automotive industry and the technology industry as we move more towards electrification and autonomy,” he said.

He was also impressed with the quality of life in the region, “It sort of has that small town feel to it but it has big city type amenities and certainly right across the river in Detroit you have everything available right at your fingertips so that was a huge part of the appeal for us.”

President of Invest Windsor Essex Stephen MacKenzie said they are riding the wave as they continue to court companies to the region.

“That validation of a good place to do business is really strengthening our ability to sell the region,” said MacKenzie.

The goal was to have a thousand jobs a year after the announcement of the EV battery plant. MacKenzie said the pipeline is robust with projects and he expects the goal to be met sometime in the next three to six months.

“We’re going to have thousands of people moving here, we believe, and they’re going to need a place to live. Everything is connected. Not everything is under the purview of Invest Windsor-Essex,” he added.

MacKenzie said there are many stakeholders in the region discussing the ability of Windsor-Essex to produce adequate housing for incoming residents while continuing to offer a good standard of living.

“We have to make sure we continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible to make sure we’re meeting the housing needs of our current population, but [also] those who are looking to come here as well, because our future success depends on it,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens