Local Workforce and Economic Development organizations join forces with area school boards and industry to organize the region’s 6th Annual MFG Day – a North American wide initiative aimed at sharing technology and career opportunities in modern manufacturing with high school and elementary students.
“Labour shortages continue to be one of the greatest challenges we face as a county. Young Canadians are crucial in addressing these gaps, and Manufacturing Day helps students get on-the-job exposure to the exciting career opportunities that await them in manufacturing. By inspiring students today, we are insuring that there is a workforce ready to fill good quality, middle-class manufacturing jobs for decades to come.”
– Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
This year more than 600 students from all four school boards and one private school will tour at least one of fifteen manufacturers as part of the daylong initiative designed to address the skilled labor shortage, connect with the future workforce, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and help ensure the ongoing prosperity of the region’s largest industry.
The skilled trades provide good, well-paying, middle-class jobs. We must continue to attract and empower women and underrepresented groups to pursue these opportunities. @Build_ADream empowers women to consider all careers and works towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce. pic.twitter.com/i5Sux58YSK— Patty Hajdu (@PattyHajdu) October 5, 2018
“Organizing Manufacturing Day is one way our community is working to narrow the skills gap. Extending classroom learning into workplaces helps students see first-hand what technology and career opportunities exist locally in modern manufacturing. Nearly half of all in-demand jobs in the region relate to manufacturing, the region’s largest sector with 29,000+ employees. Inspiring young people is the best way to ensure a strong talent pipeline for this industry.
– Michelle Suchiu, Executive Director, Workforce WindsorEssex
Students tour local manufacturers to experience a day in the life, ask questions, and engage in hands-on activities, such as creating a 3D scan and welding.
As part of MFG Day, Build a Dream organized a forum at Laval, a tool and mould shop in Tecumseh, where participants discussed how to get more underrepresented groups, such as women and minorities, to pursue careers in the skilled trades with special guest, the Hon. Patty Hajdu, the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. The Minister spoke to the attendees about how we can further support Canadians in succeeding in the skilled trades.
“Manufacturing Day is a beautiful example of a community of coming together with the collaborative support of WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Windsor Essex and movements like Build a Dream to open doors to our youth that they otherwise may not know exist. Encouraging young women to explore the opportunities that exist in manufacturing in this region is the foundation of Build a Dream’s mandate and the great theme of Manufacturing Day. Let us continue this great work, breaking barriers and opening doors to the future workforce. “
– Nour Hachem-Fawaz, President, Build a Dream
Employers, educators and students complete pre- and post-tour surveys, allowing organizers to measure the effectiveness of the event while also improving it year over year.
“Manufacturing Day is a collaborative effort between WE EDC, Workforce Windsor-Essex and the local manufacturing sector that helps demonstrate to high-school and now elementary students that a career in manufacturing is a career full of innovative and technological opportunities. With student participation growing significantly year after year, this program is an investment in fulfilling our future workforce needs for this important sector. The interface between the students and the manufacturers helps to change the perception of students, their parents and guardians about having a career in manufacturing. Our thanks to all of the companies who are participating by opening their doors to the students and educators to bring to the forefront the many great careers and opportunities that exist in manufacturing.”
– Stephen MacKenzie, CEO, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation
- Windsor-Essex was the first community in Canada to participate in MFG Day in 2013 with six companies hosting 150 students.
- Manufacturing is the region’s largest sector employing 29,442 workers locally in 2017.
- According to nearly 600+ student survey responses gathered as part of Manufacturing Day in 2017, organizers learned that:
- 65% of the students had never been on a tour of a manufacturing facility.
- 42% of all the students could not name a local manufacturing facility.
- Over half the students were unaware of the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.
- 93.4% of students learned something new about manufacturing.
- 84% of students discovered local companies through the tours.