After releasing our 2013 report, NWPB was mandated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to deploy Employer One, a regionally focused employer survey. In the lead-up to a January 2015 release, NWPB has met with other organizations to build marketing partnerships for this survey. Click here to review the results of Employer One.
NWPB continues to support Niagara Employment Crawl, a joint venture between Niagara College and Brock University. This annual program exposes students enrolled in Niagara’s post-secondary institutions to high-paying, high-skill jobs available in the Niagara region. This year’s job crawl took place on November 3, 2014.
A key component of our work is providing accurate and timely labour market information to the Niagara community. In working toward providing the most up-to-date information, NWPB inventoried various labour market tools before ultimately creating the Niagara Workforce Blog – now integrated with this website. The blog became our primary delivery mechanism for labour market data, including our Local Focus series, and our Labour Market Observer. The blog updates every Monday and Thursday; we encourage you to visit often as this service enhances what you find in the latest labour market report.
In August 2014, NWPB received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to become Niagara’s lead agency for the Canadian Council on Social Development’s Community Data program. This allows us to provide discounted access to the Community Data program to interested users in Niagara. In 2015-16 we will be deploying a series of training modules to facilitate easy use of the information contained within this database. It is our hope that these actions, as well as NWPB’s integration of Community Data statistics into our research, will demonstrate the value of Niagara’s participation in the Community Data program, leading to lasting support for this initiative.
NWPB is continuing to work on a profile of rural and agricultural occupations in the Niagara region. This project will culminate in a set of insights illustrating the strengths and challenges of Niagara’s rural economy.
Over the past two years NWPB supported two TEDx Cities events. These events focused on the Niagara’s past and present, laying the foundation for a third event that will look at Niagara’s future. These events were recorded and can be found at www.tedxstcatharines.com. NWPB is working with organizers to identify a time frame for our third TEDx talk. In the absence of a third TEDx talk, NWPB used the experience from the first two talks to research trends within local knowledge workers. This led to NWPB assisting Cowork Niagara and support social innovation ideas
As NWPB is committed to ensuring both the short- and long-term health of the local labour market, we have constructed the Planning for Success tools. The reference sheets at the core of this project serve as a first point of reference on maintaining a diverse and robust local workforce. This project also offers statistical reports on the potential in-demand occupations over the next five years, as well as references on succession planning for businesses.
Each year the NWPB produces timely research projects and presentations. Last November we convened the Niagara Apprenticeship Forum and produced the Destination: Apprenticeship guide. This year we provided a presentation to OneStep on open data, privacy protection, and other related legislation. Given the aging workforce in Niagara, we are currently researching succession planning in Niagara’s small businesses. This year, Dr. Jeff Boggs of Brock University’s Department of Geography joined the NWPB board and is working with staff to develop service learning opportunities. This pilot program offered NWPB resources to third- and fourth-year undergraduates engaging in practical research on issues relevant to Niagara’s local labour market conditions.