Essex County, Ontario – Friday, October 17, 2014 – Workforce WindsorEssex in partnership with the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce are pleased to be hosting the first-ever Agriculture Day in Windsor-Essex on Friday, October 17, 2014. With funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ Ontario Labour Market Partnership program provided through a partnership with ONESTEP (Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects), Workforce WindsorEssex and the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce are excited to partner with local agriculture employers to engage with youth and promote local employment opportunities in the sector.
Through a steering committee initiated by the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, tours of local agriculture facilities have been coordinated with local schools bringing students to each facility. 11 local employers: Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, Dockside Fisheries/Taylor Fish Company, Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre, Harcliff Farms, Highline Mushrooms, John O’s Foods Inc., Nature Fresh Farms, Red Sun Farms, Soave Agricultural Group, The Fruit Wagon, and Thermo Energy Systems Inc., are looking forward to opening their doors to students, guidance counsellors and teachers, in hopes that it will give them a deeper understanding of the jobs, environment and workplace expectations of our local agriculture sector.
“The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to engage our membership in the agriculture sector to promote employment opportunities and industry growth. This business-led initiative is one step towards addressing the workforce development issues identified by the Agriculture Steering Committee and in the Agri-Food Policy Paper published by the Chamber in April 2014. We are proud to promote this sector as it contributes to the economic prosperity of the Windsor-Essex region.” – Matt Marchand, President & CEO, Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce
“Opportunities certainly exist in agriculture. There are many offshoot opportunities in dairy from animal nutrition to food safety. You have to have the grassroots employers like myself in dairy farming to create these other opportunities.” – Mark Balkwill, Co-owner and Manager at Harcliff Farms
“ONESTEP was delighted to work with partners in the Windsor-Essex region to promote the agriculture sector to youth in the region as a means for workforce development and talent attraction and retention. The labour market information provided on these tours and through the career profiles will assist students in understanding the promising occupations within this sector and the required training to fill these key positions. This is a sterling example of business-led initiatives to address the need for skilled workers and to attract the province’s future workforce – our youth.” – Ed Kothiringer, Executive Director, Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects
Workforce WindsorEssex and the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce would like to acknowledge all of the employers and community partners for their spirit of collaboration in this initiative.