Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics Grads Score Bursaries

Windsor, Ontario (June 27, 2017) – Five high school graduates will receive $1000 towards their post-secondary education from bursaries established by Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics – the local organizing arm for FIRST Robotics Canada.

The annual bursaries are made possible through a generous contribution from the South Western Ontario Industry Education Council (SWOIEC).

“These bursaries will help empower our young people to build their future and in turn build the future prosperity of our communities,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance – a Regional Innovation Centre that has spearheaded the growth of FIRST Robotics in Windsor-Essex.

Five bursaries are named in honour of James Broom and Spencer James – a student and mentor of FIRST Robotics teams at Maranatha Christian Academy and Belle River High School respectively – who recently passed away.

“Both James and Spencer inspired the people around them, and we established this bursary to honour that legacy,” says Larry Koscielski, VP of Process and Technology Development at CenterLine and Chair of Windsor Essex FIRST Robotics.

The following students from the following high schools received bursaries to attend the following post-secondary institutions:

  1. Hunter Thorne, Westview Freedom Academy (Team 6202), University of Windsor, BA Combined Honours History and Greek and Roman Studies
  2. Christopher Nardone, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School (Team 5885), University of Windsor, Electrical Engineering
  3. Hannah Iacobelli, Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School (Team 4932), Ryerson University, Biomedical Engineering
  4. Andrew Drury, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School (Team 5885). University of Waterloo, Mechatronics Engineering
  5. Zahra Mouhammad, Hon. W. C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute (Team 4508), Trent/Swansea, Law and Arts Dual Degree

FIRST Robotics is an international high-school robotics program wherein teams of twenty to thirty students work alongside professional mentors to dream up, design and build 120 pound robots that compete in an arena.

Four years ago there was only one high school robotics team and one FIRST Lego League team operating at the grade school level.

Today, there are 18 high school and over 60 grade school robotics teams competing in Windsor-Essex and Kent Counties.  Over 1,000 students were involved in FIRST in our area this year.

Windsor is also home to the Windsor Essex Great Lakes District Event – which each year draws 1500 high school students from across North America.

Fun Fact: Detroit will host the FIRST Robotics Global Championship in 2018.





For further information, please contact:

Larry F. Koscielski

Chair, Windsor Essex FIRST Robotics 519-816-3265

Project Release: Workforce WindsorEssex Skills Matrix


Workforce WindsorEssex is excited to announce the launch of our Skills Matrix! 

To develop this resource we identified the top 50 in-demand jobs using information gathered from job postings, employer consultations, and employer responses to our quarterly surveys. These jobs are organized by skill level A,B,C,D  and details on required experience, median wage, and alternate job titles are provided. Community definitions for foundational, soft, and technical skills are also included.

This resource will be useful in identifying strengths and skill sets that align with in-demand careers in our region.  We encourage you to use this document as you help clients and students in their job search, as you review the skill sets of your current employees or as you pursue new career opportunities.

Support Hackforge, Windsor’s Tech Hub!

Windsor Hackforge has launched a crowdfunding campaign! All proceeds raised will support their downtown space and programming to promote and teach about technology with the goal of keeping the majority of their events free and open to the public.

When you donate to Hackforge, you’re supporting the space and programming, plus getting some sweet sweet swag. T-shirts, stickers, 3D printed keychains, and more!

Located in the heart of downtown Windsor at 255 Ouellette, Hackforge is a registered non-profit focused in technology. A member-driven organization, they host events and programming for beginners, professionals, and hobbyists. Hackforge operates as an event space, community workshop, and co-working space.

All proceeds raised will support their downtown space and programming to promote and teach about technology. They want to keep the majority of our events free and open to the public but we need your help.

The campaign is open now and runs until their Anniversary Party on May 27th. You can pick up the donation swag then and any time after that at Hackforge.

The Ultimate 519 Day Giveaway!

To many – the number 519 is synonymous with home.

On May 19th – it’s an opportunity to celebrate the City we love.

The annual 519 Day is an opportunity to give our city a big community-wide hug around those things that make Windsor great – as we invite residents to share their favourite photos and memories of Windsor on social media using the #519Day hashtag.

There are many ways residents and visitors can celebrate #519Day including enjoying all-day Toasty’s Grilled Cheese and Salad Bar’s Original Grilled Cheese for only $5.19 or treating yourself to some Pushers Co. YQG gear at 30% off. Music fan? Elite Piano Studios will host a special #519Day free concert from 7:30 – 8:30 with confirmed performances by Brendan Friel. Art lover? Check out Part Art Part Party Pt.11 – 5/19 Day happening in the amazing art alley behind Five Ten starting at 5:19PM.

Want more? Join WindsorEats for their Friday Night Lights Free Bike Ride. Riders will meet up at 7:30pm at Willistead Park and depart at 8:00pm visiting The Rondo, Walkerville Eatery and Craft Heads Brewing Company for a unique pub and grub crawl on two wheels throughout the city of Windsor.

And it’s not just 519 celebrating. Our 313 neighbors in Detroit are joining in too. The HandleBar, Detroit’s first and only 16 person, pedal-powered pub on wheels, wants to give 519 a special 313 experience. In partnership with WEtech Alliance and BB Branded, HandleBar is giving away a chance for a #519er to cruise the streets of Detroit with 15 of their closest friends. Even better, the Winner (and friends) will win some BB Branded popular 519er swag to cruise the streets of Detroit in local fashion.

“My brother and I have always been big fans of the 519, particularly from the ages of 19 and 20, but just because we operate HandleBar tours in the central part of downtown doesn’t mean we don’t still have love for “South Detroit”.  Happy 519 day guys!” said Brian Lindsay, co-owner of the HandleBar.

The Ultimate 519 Day Giveaway will run May 17th until May 19th at 5PM. The winner will be announced at exactly 5:19PM on May 19th.


You can enter our contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Enter on all 3 to increase your chances of winning!

Facebook – like, comment or share our promo post

Twitter – RT our promo tweet

Instagram – like our promo tweet

Good luck!

Results of the Consolidated Regional Business Survey Highlights Growth and Local Business Priorities

Windsor-Essex County, Ontario, – Wednesday, May 10, 2017– During Economic Development Week – March 27 -31, 2017 a collaborative effort was made by WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC), the regional Economic Development Officers (EDO), Workforce WindsorEssex, WEtech Alliance and the  Ministry of Economic Development and Growth as they met face-to-face with approximately 100 companies and encouraged them to complete the business retention and expansion survey.

The ‘one survey’ concept was developed by participating organizations to prevent ‘survey fatigue’ by the business community as well as to share the aggregated collected data results. Since all participants are using the same survey data they are able to analyze trends which improves the validation of the information. The data collected will help the city, county and region identify specific issues and challenges faced by Windsor-Essex companies and will help promote continued collaboration and teamwork among the partners. The partners were pleased to see that over 200 surveys were completed.

Drew Dilkens, Mayor of the City of Windsor said, “The City of Windsor is booming right now, of the businesses surveyed, we now know almost 60% of these companies are planning to expand within the next 18 months. This is consistent with the Conference Board of Canada’s Outlook report for the Windsor Census Metropolitan Area as the second fastest growing economy in all of Canada for 2017. Data from this collaborative initiative will help the city focus our attention in the right places and help businesses navigate barriers that may be in their way.”

Tom Bain, Warden of Essex County added, “The face-to-face outreach  meetings with businesses within Essex County during Economic Development Week coupled with the valuable feedback we have received from the survey is vital information for the County and the City. It gives us first-hand insight into the needs of our local businesses and our role in helping them stay competitive and successful. The ‘one survey’ concept is an example of like-minded economic development professionals collaborating to make a difference for businesses in the Windsor-Essex region.  Teamwork is essential to the prosperity of every community and teamwork will continue to move the region in the right direction.”

Katie Renaud, Research Associate at Workforce WindsorEssex commented, “Workforce WindsorEssex appreciated the opportunity to work in collaboration with economic development organizations and officers to carry out this survey. We were particularly pleased to see participation from all municipalities and from a diversity of businesses, which has ensured the survey is representative of our region. The results of the survey are encouraging, with participating businesses hiring over 4,500 people in the last year. As “workforce skills shortage” was identified as the top barrier to growth in Windsor-Essex, we will continue to work to improve the availability and stability of the workforce in our region.”

“On behalf of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation we are very pleased with the overall survey results, particularly that 53% of the businesses surveyed reported that the outlook for their industry is growing and over one third indicated that exporting to international markets was of interest to them in the future. WE EDC will study the survey results thoroughly to ensure we respond and understand local business needs and provide the economic development tools needed for businesses in our region to stay, grow and be successful,” added Stephen MacKenzie, CEO, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corp.

The WE EDC is the lead economic development agency in the region working in collaboration with the municipalities of Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington, Pelee Island, Tecumseh and Windsor and assisted by Workforce WindsorEssex, WEtech Alliance, WindsorEssex Small Business Centre and the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.


Media Contacts:

Mathew Johnson, Economic Development Officer for the City of Windsor- 519-255-6100 ext 6608

Katie Renaud, Research Associate at Workforce WindsorEssex- Tel: 226-674-3220 ext 855

Lana Drouillard, Director Marketing/Communications WE EDC- 519 259-9600

Four local high school students among 20 provincial finalists in Make Your Pitch Competition.

Four (4) local high school students among 20 provincial finalists in Make Your Pitch Competition.

Finalists Travel to Toronto: The 20 finalists travel to Toronto for three days to attend OCE’s Discovery conference and pitch their idea live to a judging panel.
Entrepreneurial Boot Camp: The finalists attend a one-day entrepreneurship boot camp at the OneEleven accelerator to prepare for the live pitch at Discovery.
Discovery: The finalists attend Discovery, Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference, hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence.
Live Pitch: Each finalist delivers a three-minute pitch to a live audience and a panel of expert judges. The pitch is followed by a two-minute question-and-answer period.
Awards Ceremony: Six winners are selected and presented with awards during the luncheon at Discovery.

Our four (4) local student finalists are:

1. LITLYTE – Custom Spoon Lamps – Hon W.C Kennedy Collegiate Institute—Custom-Spoon-Lamps?offset=7&sort=upload%20DESC&channel=28450 

2. Printable Canada – Assumption College Catholic High School 

3. Pushing for Knowledge – Assumption College Catholic High School 

4. Youth Inspire Canada – Tecumseh Vista Academy 


#YQG 2017 Make Your Pitch Contest Entries Need Your Votes

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch. High School Students: Pitch Us Your Business Idea! Submissions are now closed. Check out the videos and vote for your favourite! #makeyourpitch

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch, is an Ontario high school entrepreneurship competition. Every year, WEtech Alliance along with other Ontario Network of Entrepreneur local partners, work with local high schools teachers and students to submit their “Pitch”.

This year we are pleased to share three (3) local submissions. Your support in voting and social media sharing is greatly appreciated.

We need to ensure we have local winner this year at OCE Discovery, May 15-16 in Toronto. Since the inception of this competition, Windsor-Essex students have done very well in winning top prizes.

Please click on each video below and click on “vote” in the top right hand side of the screen (you must create a log-in or connect through Facebook).

Online voting period ends April 20th. You can vote for each of the finalists once per day.

1. LITLYTE – Custom Spoon Lamps – Hon W.C Kennedy Collegiate Institute—Custom-Spoon-Lamps?offset=7&sort=upload%20DESC&channel=28450 

2. Printable Canada – Assumption College Catholic High School 

3. Pushing for Knowledge – Assumption College Catholic High School