2023 EmployerOne survey wants you!

2023 EmployerOne survey wants you!

2023 EmployerOne survey dives into the workforce needs and challenges of area employers.

The EmployerOne – Spotlight on Quality of Work survey has been launched by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie and is supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

The survey, which runs until Jan. 31,  will also be promoted by many community organizations, including chambers of commerce and economic development departments.

Previous EmployerOne surveys have provided valuable insights into issues affecting employers in Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

“With labour shortages and other workforce-related issues affecting many employers, we felt the time was right to bring back the EmployerOne survey,” said Danette Dalton, the board’s executive director.

“This year’s focus ties in with research we did in the last couple of months talking to employees and job seekers about what they value in a workplace. It’s now the turn of employers to give their perspective.”

Hundreds of area employers have completed EmployerOne in the past, but the survey wasn’t carried out over the pandemic, Dalton said. “A lot has changed for businesses, to say the least.”

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/E12023

Traditional EmployerOne questions touch on hiring plans, hard-to-fill jobs, strategies for staff attraction and retention, and other topics.

New quality of work-related questions look at what practices and policies businesses have in place that may make them attractive to new and existing workers, such as: health benefits, on-the-job training, the chance for promotions, flexible work conditions and working from home.

The 2023 EmployerOne survey also asks employers what barriers they face in bringing in or enhancing quality of work practices. “Some employers may have things in place that other businesses can learn from,” Dalton said.

Information and results from past EmployerOne surveys can be found by visiting this Page.

This Employment Ontario project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Ontario Agriculture Week – Spotlight on Grand Erie

Ontario Agriculture Week – Spotlight on Grand Erie

It’s Ontario Agriculture Week from October 3rd to the 9th and there is plenty to celebrate about this important sector! The week is a time to showcase all the amazing things happening in the industry and our connection to where our food comes from – so let’s raise a fork to the food we love and the people who produce it! 

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a major contributor to the Canadian economy comprised of primary agriculture (farmers) and food and beverage processing, and also includes foodservice providers, as well as food retailers and wholesalers who are the link between food production and consumers. 

In 2021, the whole agriculture and agri-food system employed 2.1 million people, provided 1 in 9 jobs in Canada, and generated $134.9 billion (around 6.8%) of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). Of that, primary agriculture carried out by farmers and which is defined as work performed within the boundaries of a farm, nursery or greenhouse, accounted for 241,500 jobs in Canada and $31.9 billion in GDP across 189,874 farms. 

Agriculture in the Grand Erie region…

There are 3564 agri-food businesses in Grand Erie region. Agriculture, combined with forestry, fishing and hunting, is the 2nd biggest industry in the Grand Erie region.

Grand Erie top 3 Agriculture subsectors are as follows:

  1. Crop production – 1844 businesses
  2. Animal production and aquaculture – 599 businesses
  3. Food service and drinking places – 502 businesses

The 2021 Census showed there were 3735 farm operators (down from 4,030 in 2016) in the Grand Erie region operating 2620 farms (down from 2860 in 2016). Around 40% of farms are under 70 acres, 47% are between 70 and 399 acres, 8% are between 400 and 759 acres and 6% are over 760 acres. Based on 894 farms that reported on number of employees, a total of 10,727 individuals were employed including temporary foreign workers.

Largely comprised of rural communities, the Grand Erie region has a diverse agricultural industry and its farms make up 5.42% of all farms across Ontario. Primary agriculture which relates directly to farming, includes crops, livestock, greenhouses and nurseries, as well as, farmer’s markets, farm equipment repair shops, wine and cider production, grain drying operations and livestock auctions is abundant in the Grand Erie region.

While the number of smaller farms shrunk between 2016 and 202, Grand Erie gained 7 large farms (2240 acres and higher) indicating that operations are merging in response to the shrinking number of farm operators.

Farms by industry group in Grand Erie:

  • Oilseed and grain – 1175 farms
  • Beef and cattle ranching and farming – 189 farms
  • Vegetable and melon farming – 188 farms
  • Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture – 143 farms
  • Poultry and egg production – 113 farms
  • Dairy cattle and milk production – 105 farms

In 2021, Grand Erie grew over 6 million kgs of fruit, 34 million kgs of vegetables, 15 kgs of grain, and 30 million kgs of livestock products. Top fruits include apples, strawberries and pears. Top vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onion and lettuce. Chicken, beef, eggs and dairy are top livestock products. 

County of Brant: 77% of lands in the County of Brant are considered to be prime agricultural lands. Additionally, the County of Brant is home to various businesses with on-farm diversified uses such as bakeries, seasonal tourism events related to the agricultural area (petting zoo, corn maze, ziplining, wine tasting etc.), and educational & commercial activities directly related to local farming.

Brantford: Aside from deep roots in agricultural equipment manufacturing, local farm fresh stores are popular in Brantford and operations such as Brantwood Farms have adapted to receive customers year round at their farm shops and special events.

Haldimand County: Agriculture has a long history in Haldimand County. Family farms have been a staple to the local economy for generations, specializing in crop production, animal production and aquaculture. Haldimand County invites people to visit their farmers markets to learn how important agriculture is to the local economy and appreciate networks of local food producers.

Norfolk County: Norfolk County promotes itself as Ontario’s Garden and according to the 2016 census, there were 1,860 farm operators working 1,307 farms in Norfolk County, with total land in crops of 196,403 acres. Norfolk County farmers are Canada’s leading growers of asparagus, cabbage, tart cherries, ginseng, peppers, pumpkins, rye, squash and zucchini, strawberries, and other vegetables. Livestock makes up an important part of Norfolk County agriculture which include pigs, cattle and calves, goats, sheep and lambs and honeybee colonies. Employing the highest number of employees on its farms (7,619), Norfolk County farmers received more than $519 million in total gross farm revenue in the year prior to the 2016 census.

Six Nations of the Grand River: Corn, beans and squash are called “The Three Sisters” in Indigenous farming and were traditionally inter-planted because they thrive together – as well as providing balanced nutrition. To create community awareness surrounding Indigenous agriculture, Six Nations recently launched their “Revitalizing Our Sustenance Project” in May of 2020 during the beginning summer months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Agri-tourism has been a growing industry across the Grand Erie region – from farm crawls to guided tours of micro-breweries, farmers markets and farm to table experiences, companies such as Ride the Bine, Red Apple Tours provide visitors and locals with tailored experiences at local agri-businesses.

Future outlook of Agriculture in Grand Erie…

According to StatCan’s Census of Agriculture data – of the 4, 030 farm operators in Grand Erie, about 55 % are 55 years or older, compared to 49% in 2011. 1,435 are between the age of 35-54 and only 375 were under the age of 35. With many agricultural workers opting to retire early, shortages of workers, including migrant workers, are creating a high demand for skilled equipment operators to support the local industry and it is increasingly important to consider how and by whom these newly vacant positions will be filled.

With the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie as one of its several partners, Conestoga College recently developed a 16 week Agricultural Equipment Operator Program. Completion of the program positions graduates to successfully enter a wide variety of agricultural operations.

Other local agricultural training institutions include the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) of the University of Guelph. At its Ridgetown Campus, obtaining an Associate Diploma in Agriculture provides individuals with the training to manage a farm, work for a global agribusiness, finance agricultural innovation, advance new crop and livestock genetics, or work in advancing agriculture technology.

Fanshawe College offers an Agri-Business Management Program at its Simcoe campus, which equips graduates with understanding business fundamentals and industry specific training in agricultural production. Students gain knowledge in how to manage each step of the supply chain from farm to table and everything in between, with new technological advances and sustainable practices.

 

 

October is Manufacturing Month

October is Manufacturing Month

October is Manufacturing Month, celebrating a key industry that provides thousands of jobs in the Grand Erie region.

About 1.7 million people work in manufacturing across Canada, over half of those jobs in Ontario – the country’s manufacturing heartland.

Manufacturing is the No. 1 employer in our area, with almost 800 businesses employing 15,800 people in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Local companies make an amazing array of products, some of which are household names and brands that people buy every day. Think bread, chocolates, chicken nuggets, frozen waffles, hockey sticks, air fresheners, house paint, barbecues, cat litter, drywall, windows, kitchen cabinets, LED lighting – to name a few.

Other products are for special uses or niches. Think truck trailers, forestry equipment, neon signs, cabinetry for grocery stores, playground equipment, vinyl siding, swimming pool liners.

Other products are used as a part of others. Think auto parts, steel, pharmaceutical products, recycled rubber, cement wall panels, building supplies, industrial pumps, plastic hoses.

October will be celebrated as Manufacturing Month in North America, with Oct. 1 marked as Manufacturing Day in many areas.

In the past, manufacturers have thrown open their doors to tours, giving students and other visitors a behind-the-scenes look at what they make and the types of jobs they hire for.

The October Manufacturing Month tours are a way for companies to showcase their products, people and jobs, and to dispel commonly held myths about what it is like to work in manufacturing.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie has previously organized tours of local manufacturers and has produced a dozen videos about careers at local companies (see the resource section below).

Today’s manufacturing is a lot different than 30 or 50 years ago.

The days of workers standing at a production line, doing mind-numbing repetitive tasks, in a loud, dirty factory are largely past.

Today, production is highly automated, with computers, robots and cutting-edge technology heavily used. Companies value innovation, looking for better ways of doing things and creating new products.

Advanced Manufacturing, which uses new technologies, is a rapidly growing part of the industry.

Manufacturing offers a large variety of jobs, covering dozens of occupations, types of work and skill levels, from entry level positions to the most senior and experienced.

And while men have traditionally made up the bulk of people working in production and skilled trades roles in manufacturing, more women are entering the industry.

TYPES OF JOBS: Jobs can range from machine operator to office staff, packagers, salespeople, welders, millwrights, material handlers, computer programmers, engineers, designers, researchers, chemists, quality control specialists, health and safety experts.

JOB SKILLS: Skills used in manufacturing jobs also vary. Among the skills highly valued by businesses are: problem solving, critical thinking, team work, good communication, attention to detail, customer service and people skills. Learning to work safely is also important. Each occupation may have its own set of technical skills, from operating CNC machines to blueprint reading, programming robots and repairing equipment. And like all businesses, companies need people who are reliable and show up for work on time.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Businesses hire people who haven’t finished high school up to PhDs, depending on the role. Many companies offer on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or send workers to specialized training. Many companies provide opportunities for their staff to upgrade their skills and may help pay for their courses.

OPPORTUNITIES: Many companies regularly hire to fill open positions. Some increase their hiring to meet a large order or to fill seasonal demands. Companies like to promote from within, providing opportunities for advancement to employees who demonstrate a strong work ethic, a desire to learn, and a commitment to the business. There may be further opportunities as some older workers retire.

Find Out More

We Make It Here: A dozen videos produced by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie that showcase local companies, the products they make and the people that make them.

Grand Erie Jobs: This online job board is the best source to find local manufacturing jobs, or to learn about specific manufacturing occupations or companies.

Local Training and Education

Skills2Advance Welding: Free job training program that prepares people to enter the welding trade in the Grand Erie region.

Conestoga College: College courses for manufacturing, including skilled trades and manufacturing management, plus continuing education courses.

Fanshawe College, Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus: College courses in welding and office administration, plus a number of continuing education courses.

Six Nations Polytechnic: Training for welders and machinists.

Mohawk College: College courses for manufacturing, including skilled trades, engineering and robotics training, plus continuing education courses.

Quality of Work – New Local Survey

Quality of Work – New Local Survey

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie has launched a new survey that is digging into how people perceive quality of work at their current or past workplaces.

Quality of work typically refers to a combination of things like a job’s income and benefits, job security, chance for promotion, opportunities to use skills, workplace culture and more.

For the last few years, our annual employer survey results have highlighted the growing obstacles that businesses face in finding and retaining suitable employees. Turnover triggered by quits, workplace culture and lack of work-life balance has been increasing and this has significant impacts on business operations.

With the added volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to better understand the factors that influence quality of work, and to scope out the opportunities, challenges and barriers to supporting the Grand Erie labour market.

We will be examining the “quality of work” amongst workers within six industries in the Grand Erie area (healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, construction, manufacturing, accommodation and food services and agriculture.) The research will be carried out through a workforce survey that will measure the quality of work along 6 dimensions defined by Statistics Canada.

With this survey, we want to better understand what people value in a job, the workplace and their leaders. It is important to hear from workers, what attracts them to apply for a job and to stay in a job.

Many employers are experiencing labour shortages and they are competing for workers. Having a reputation of providing a good work culture and jobs can make a business stand out. The survey should help businesses, community organizations and local government learn more about what workers value in a workplace, and could prompt changes that strengthen quality of work.

Employers may learn what improvements or best practices they can implement in their workplace to give workers a stronger incentive to stay. And a good quality of work and work-life balance at a workplace can be a big selling point to potential new hires.

Individuals who complete the survey may find themselves better equipped to open up conversations with their managers about how their work quality can be enhanced. Results may also help those looking for work to identify industries that best support their quality of work goals.

Further, data collected through this survey can help community organizations/government develop better, more targeted programs and services to support our workforce’s needs.

The survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, is open to employees and job seekers 15 years and older who lives in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties and will be running until September of this year. Those who complete the survey will have a chance to win a prize in a weekly draw.

The research project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre, a forward-looking organization that prototypes, tests and measures new and innovative approaches to skills development across Canada. To learn more about Future Skills Centre, visit: fsc-ccf.ca

Thank you to our survey sponsors:

Summer student jobs and youth resources

Summer student jobs and youth resources

Companies around the Grand Erie region are currently hiring for summer student positions. These companies include Piller’s Fine Foods, Circle Square Ranch, Maple Leaf Foods, Linde Canada and Grand River Employment and Training.

Our Grand Erie Job Board allows youth to search for summer jobs in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit. Currently dozens and dozens of summer student job openings are posted in the area.

Many non-profit community agencies such as Community Addictions and Mental Health Services of Haldimand and Norfolk, Habitat for Humanity, Norfolk Association for Community Living, Alzheimer Society and Lions McInnes House are currently advertising for summer students under a special government program called Canada Summer Jobs. All Canada Summer Jobs are searchable here: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/youth

The COVID-19 Pandemic has added unique challenges for youth and their ability to find employment during the past few years. Help is available to youth who lack information about employment programs and job searching tools – and with their summer job hunt.

Educational institutions and area organization such as St. Leonard’s Community Services, Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre (BRC), CareerLink and other regional employment service providers offer various programs and services across our region to not only help young people find a summer job; but for graduating students or for youth not in school – their first full time job and to also help those interested in learning how they can start their own business.

For example, aspiring entrepreneurs ages 15 to 29 years old can apply for the Summer Company Student Grant Program offered through Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre to students living in the City of Brantford, County of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, and Six Nations of the Grand River.

The program lets students take the plunge into business ownership and teaches them how to problem solve, communicate effectively, and the importance of a strong work ethic. Students will also learn all aspects of running a business including how to manage their business finances, marketing and sales, customer service, building and controlling inventory and the behind the scenes work that is required to operate a successful business.

Successful applicants receive up to $1,500 to assist with start-up costs and an additional $1,500 on completion of the program.

Other Local Youth Employment Resources:

Grand Erie District School Board: Home :: Grand Erie District School Board

CareerLink: About :: Career Link

St. Leonard’s Community Services Wrap Program: Youth Employment Skills Strategy – Work Readiness and Advancement Program (WRAP) | St. Leonard’s (st-leonards.com)

Brant Skills Centre: Brant Skills Centre

G.R.E.A.T: The Student Office – GREAT (greatsn.com)

Fanshawe Community Career and Employment Services: Community Career and Employment Services (Simcoe) | Fanshawe College

City School by Mohawk: City School by Mohawk | Mohawk College

Brantford Business Resource Centre: Business Resource Centre – City of Brantford – Economic Development (advantagebrantford.ca)

First Work: First Work – Ontario’s Youth Employment Network

First Work Aspire Initiative: Home – Youth Aspire

Wilfrid Laurier University LaunchPad: LaunchPad | Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation | Students – Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Wilfrid Laurier University: Career and Employment Support | Students – Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Conestoga College: https://studentsuccess.conestogac.on.ca/myCareer

Six Nations Polytechnic: Careers | Six Nations Polytechnic (snpolytechnic.com)CareerLink: Job Seeker :: Career Link

Contact North: Welcome to contactnorth.ca | Contact North | contactnorth.ca

Canadian Mental Health Association Brant Haldimand Norfolk: CMHA Brant Haldimand Norfolk – Mental Health for All  

Grand Erie Jobs: https://workforceplanningboard.org/find-jobs/

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