Having quality opportunities to work, contribute and earn a living wage is important to the health and wellbeing of a family, an individual and a community. The sustainability of a community is reliant on the employment of its citizens and the utilization of their talents and human capital in creative and purposeful work.
What we are doing well…
The Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) brings together those concerned with labour force planning and employment in Niagara to look at labour opportunities, trends, growth areas, skills, educational demands and employer needs. Many organizations are dedicated to assisting clients with employment and language training. The Niagara Immigrant Employment Council (NIEC) and the Niagara Immigrant Connections Initiative (NICI) were established to enhance the integration of the skills of immigrants in Niagara. There is evidence of collaborative planning to work on employment and labour force strategies for Niagara. While jobs are decreasing in some sectors, they are increasing in others. Traditionally, Niagara’s economy was anchored on a small number of large manufacturers employing large workforces. Manufacturing is changing, with a number of new small and medium-sized enterprises generating jobs. The diversification of Niagara’s economy is a trend that is in-step with national and global directions.
By working together, we can improve work and employment in Niagara
Niagara would be strengthened by effective, innovative, coordinated and collaborative economic and employment strategies at the local and regional levels. Labour needs in the tourism and service sectors have increased. Diversified manufacturing and business enterprise sectors could be further strengthened. Recognizing credentials and integrating talents of our educated immigrant population into appropriate labour areas is still an issue requiring attention. Attracting increased numbers of educated youth to Niagara, to work and build their businesses, careers and families would be an investment in our future. The employment and earnings of single parents, youth, immigrants, artists, persons with disabilities and the Aboriginal population still lag behind that of the general population in the region.
- A new regional approach to strengthening economic development for Niagara is being established, with preferred models being explored.
- A number of initiatives are engaging youth and capturing their ideas for Niagara’s workforce future.
- Employment initiatives are being targeted to older workers (age 55 to 64) affected by industry transitions.
- An innovative business incubation hub is in place at ngen-niagara.com, to help build an interactive digital media cluster in the Niagara region.
Suggested Action Steps
that emerged from the data, and discussions with community expert opinion leaders:
- Support the work of economic development partners to attract employers with sustainable employment, and quality job opportunities for Niagara.
- Advocate for government policies and resources that promote economic prosperity.
- Support creation of a culture that helps youth to develop entrepreneurial skills, creativity and innovation.
- In collaboration with adult literacy partners, undertake and resource a comprehensive and collaborative regional and area mapping of current literacy rates and issues and set new targets for Niagara-wide action.
- Measure and describe the not-for-profit sector of Niagara’s workforce in terms of its economic impact.