Ontario Investing in Workforce Planning for Sault Ste. Marie

Ross Romano

Funding will facilitate local labour market planning, involving labour market partners in the community

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The Ontario government has provided $274,740 to the Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation (AWIC), a community-based, non-profit corporation. It is one of 26 Workforce Planning Boards in Ontario.

“This funding ensures that Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region have strong leadership in a constantly changing local labour market,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “The AWIC gathers and reports critical labour market data required by local employers to make business decisions, working in consultation with many partners and stakeholders to create solutions to labour market issues.”

The mandate of AWIC is to act as a catalyst for change in the Algoma District’s labour market by partnering with labour market groups to address training and adjustment issues. Each year AWIC conducts research to gather information on labour market trends,
shares findings with the community partners and stakeholders and creates a community plan of action while also facilitating collaborative partnerships to address identified labour market issues.

“AWIC provides access to easy-to-understand, quality assured Labour Market Information for Sault Ste. Marie and the entire Algoma region that allows individuals to make decision about future careers, employers to plan and find talent and community stakeholders to inform policy and develop local workforces.” said Jonathan Coulman, AWIC Executive Director. “This year COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges to the region’s employers and workforce. AWIC stepped up by gathering information directly from local employers on the impacts of the COVID-19 response to their operations. Over 700 employers participated in the initial surveys in the spring and AWIC is reaching out again now to gather updated perspectives six months into the crisis. The findings are shared with all levels of Government and community partners to help quantify the impacts locally and focus the local support and recovery efforts. The fall COVID-19 employer impact survey can be found on AWIC’s site at www.awic.ca

As a Provincial Planning Board, AWIC is mandated to strengthen the existing workforce to sustain and create new jobs. Other key activities include the identification of workforce development requirements that will sustain and grow our community, as well as working with community partners and employers to create action plans addressing workforce development issues.

This funding has been made available from the Ontario Ministry of Labour Training and Skills development for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The ministry provides funding to service providers to deliver apprenticeship and employment programs across the province. For more information please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-labour-training-skills-development.