NWPB in the Community - News Talk 610's Roundtable Road Trip with NWPB's Mario De Divitiis, and Brock University President Gervan Fearon

Posted in News, NWPB in the Community

(NWPB CEO Mario De Divitiis, second from left, participates in News Talk 610's Round Table Road Trip with Brock University President Gervan Fearon, right.)

As a new feature here on the NWPB blog, we're taking a look at some of what our team has been up to this past month in our work to create meaningful connections in the community, and bring clear and meaningful workforce research to local leaders and influencers.

Recently our CEO, Mario De Divitiis, made an appearance on News Talk 610 CKTB's Niagara in the Morning with Tim Denis, as part of the program's Roundtable Road Trip. The Road Trip had made a stop at Brock University on Thursday, March 29, to chat with Brock's President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Gervan Fearon, as well as Mario, who was able to contribute NWPB's latest workforce data to the conversation.

Much of the conversation focused on Brock's growth, and the importance of Niagara’s post-secondary institutions to the region from an economic standpoint. Mario was able to speak on this matter not only as an authority on the local workforce, but also as a Brock alumnus and Adjunct Professor at Niagara College. The discussion highlighted the fact that not only do students contribute to the region's economy as both workers and consumers, but also that both Brock University and Niagara College contribute roughly 4000 jobs to the local workforce. Mario also observed that a region's post-secondary schools are key to moving education and income levels forward for its residents, and thus play an important role in economic development. The interconnectedness of a region to its academic institutions has shown to be an indicator for success, with evidence from neighbouring regions in Ontario indicating that the cities that have been making the greatest strides are "tied at the hip" with their colleges and universities.

Mario De Divitiis at Niagara's State of the Union presentation

Mario De Divitiis, right, with the panel of regional representatives at Niagara's State of the Union presentation: Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, and Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

Both Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo have seen great economic strides, and much of that has been tied to their deeply held connections with their universities. The leaders from these neighbouring regions were able to provide a broader perspective on what exactly the State of the Region is as compared to its neighbours, and NWPB was able to contribute data on all three communities to the discussion, with the trajectory of jobs showing a positive trend across the board, and throughout Ontario. When asked by Tim Denis asked about the State of the Region presentation, Mario noted that what the research has shown and the panel discussion reinforced was that the more interconnected regions are – both to their universities and to one another – the better off we all are. Mario pointed to the strong connections Niagara has been building with Hamilton recently as an example of the kind of mutual prosperity that can be built between regions, and encouraged more link-ups of the kind with other provincial partners going forward.

We will no doubt be hearing from Mario again soon on CKTB and other local media, as NWPB continues in its commitment to championing accurate, authoritative data research as a vital component in decisions making, and strengthening community connections.