Brant Tradespersons Recognized with Awards

Brant Tradespersons Recognized with Awards

Four tradespersons from Brant County have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to the skilled trades.

The newly created Skilled Tradespersons of the Year awards were handed out Sept. 18 at a trades appreciation event organized by the Workforce Planning Board.

The tradespersons represented the four trades sectors: construction, industrial, motive power and service.

Construction: Adam Smith, owner of Tru-Power Electrical Services, Burford.
Industrial: Jordan Gowdy, an apprentice with Reynolds Custom Machine, St. George.
Motive Power: Robin Horsfall, owner of Horsfall’s Auto Service, Paris.
Service: Doug Witteveen, owner of Witteveen Meats, St. George.

Brant MPP Will Bouma was on hand, while Marty Verhey of Walters Group served as Master of Ceremonies.

The event was also an opportunity for local businesses and tradespeople to share their views on how to attract more people to work in in-demand skilled trades and how the current apprenticeship system can be approved.

Similar events are taking place during September in Brantford, Haldimand County, Norfolk County and Six Nations.

In-Demand Skilled Trades in the Spotlight

In-Demand Skilled Trades in the Spotlight

Businesses are being urged to share their thoughts on what can be done to address the local skilled trades shortage.  Area businesses are also being encouraged to nominate an exceptional skilled tradesperson for local Skilled Tradesperson of the Year awards.

A new Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie survey asks employers to identify their business’ in-demand skilled trades positions and seeks their ideas on how to increase the number of journeypersons and apprentices, and how to improve Ontario’s apprenticeship system.

The 5-minute In-Demand Skilled Trades Survey is part of a wider discussion with employers taking place here and other communities across Ontario about skilled trades. A series of drop-in Appreciation Events will be held throughout September in Brantford, Six Nations/New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

“The purpose of the survey and our Appreciation Events is to hear from skilled trades employers, tradespeople, apprentices and mentors about their experiences and challenges,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “We want to hear directly from the real-life experts.”

Any area business that employs tradespeople is invited to participate. There are more than 150 trades in four sectors: industrial, construction, motive power and service.

For more information on the survey and events, click here.

August job numbers set record

August job numbers set record

Brantford’s job market continues to shatter records, with the jobless rate dropping last month to the lowest this century.

The city’s August’s 3.9% unemployment rate, down from 4.5% in July, represents the lowest jobless rate that Statistics Canada has records for on their website, dating back to 2001.

Brantford’s job market continues to shatter records, with the jobless rate dropping in August 2019 to the lowest this century.
The city’s August’s 3.9% unemployment rate, down from 4.5% in July, represents the lowest jobless rate that Statistics Canada has records for on their website, dating back to 2001.
Brantford’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been tumbling for months and now sits considerably below the monthly rate of 5.7% for Canada and 5.6% for Ontario. The only city in Canada with a lower jobless rate than Brantford in August was Victoria, B.C. at 3.3%.
The strength of the city’s job market appears even more dramatic when looking at the employment rate, the percentage of people employed out of the total adult population (aged 15 and over).
Brantford’s employment rate has skyrocketed 10% in the last 12 months, hitting 68.7% in August compared to 58.6% one year ago, according to Statistics Canada estimates.

Local grants support EPIC Jobs event

Local grants support EPIC Jobs event


EPIC Jobs, happening on May 22, 2019, is a day-long annual event that will expose some 2,000 Grade 7 and 8 students, through hands-on activities, exciting displays and motivational messages from industry speakers, to potential careers in the skilled trades.

The Outreach Committee of Enterprise Brant has approved funding of $5,000. The Brant Community Foundation has also approved grant funds totalling $5,000. These funds will assist with the costs associated with bringing in elite speakers for the EPIC Jobs event.

These speakers are:

Cory Vitiello, a Brantford-born award-winning chef & star of Food Network’s Chef in Your Ear. Vitiello started cooking out of his parent’s Brantford kitchen at age 15, then attended the Stratford Chef School, and now is considered a culinary star on the hot and competitive Toronto food scene.

Emily Chung, owner of AutoNiche Women’s Auto Repair Service in Toronto. She launched the business in 2009 out of frustration with the auto repair business, seeing a need for a repair shop that caters to women. The Toronto resident is a busy speaker and auto blogger, inspiring young women to consider skilled trades.

Jeremy Bout, a filmmaker and host of the innovative Edge Factor video series. Jeremy is known for pushing the limits, using digital technology to tell stories that inspire audiences. The popular motivational speaker has inspired students, young people, educators and business. Jeremy has promoted challenging careers in advanced manufacturing to a new audience.

Jamie McMillan, a ground-breaking female Ironworker from Hamilton, who promotes skilled trades to women. In 2002, Jamie went from being a personal support worker and a server to launching a new career in the male-dominated worlds of ironworking and welding. Since then, Jamie has been a strong advocate, supporter and mentor for women entering the trades.

The Workforce Planning Board, in partnership with the Grand Erie District School Board, the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, has organized Epic Jobs annually since 2017. The organizing committee is very grateful for the Enterprise Brant and Brant Community Foundation funding; without support from the local community, this Epic event would not be possible.

The Workforce Planning Board is one of 26 non-profit organizations funded through the Government of Ontario that play a leadership role in labour force planning.