Workforce Series – Interview with Gordon

Workforce Series – Interview with Gordon

In our Workforce Series, where we share stories from local people who work in some of our region’s most important industries, we talk to Gordon Bouchard who recently took part in the Welding Training program through the Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre (OSTTC).

OSTTC is a community owned Indigenous training and post-secondary institute that serves The Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and surrounding communities and runs various skills training, professional development and trades programs. It is owned and operated under Grand River Employment Training Inc. and is located in the village of Ohsweken. 

Gordon now works as a welder for Walters Group in Princeton. Walters is a family owned steel construction company that designs, fabricates, and constructs commercial and industrial projects throughout North America. They often recruit for various opportunities on their Careers Page.

In our feature, Gordon talks about the high demand for welders, switching careers to secure his future and career options, his passion for his new role and the satisfaction he gets from feeling he is making a contribution to society through his work.

Watch our interview with Gordon here


Some additional highlights from Gordon:

“I knew there was a demand for the skilled trades and welding but I had no idea just how big it was, there are literally jobs everywhere. I had my own business for 20 years that was affected by the pandemic and going into welding was not only to create job security and provide for my family, it was coming full circle. I was considering becoming an auto mechanic when I was young, my father and grandfather were millwrights so I have those roots. It’s come full circle now with going into a second career doing something I enjoy, that mentally stimulates me and that I expect to do until I retire”  

“The OSTTC program was great – during the 8-week program I attained 5 welding certificates and had the qualifications to get my foot in the door after completing the program.

“My work with Walters has allowed me to be part of exciting projects. Additionally, I recently worked on a pavilion that is being donated back to the local community and I look forward to taking my kids to see it when it is installed it the spring”

On advice to young people – be flexible – when you are young and not tied down and you want to get ahead and make as much money as possible, take the different shifts and work your way in…it may be tough for a few years but then you will get to pick and choose more of what fits your life and home situation when you are older”

“My long-term goal is to get into quality control/inspection in another 10 years after getting all the tickets and training to get me there – and by then expertise in the field under my belt”

Thank you to Gordon for sharing his story with us! Looking to explore a career or find a job? Check out Grand Erie Jobs – the biggest career and job site in our region!


Numerous companies hiring in Grand Erie

Numerous companies hiring in Grand Erie

As labour shortages continue across the board, many local employers are making efforts to onboard employees into open positions.

Ferrero and Mott Manufacturing in Brantford are both actively recruiting for various openings.

Ferrero, the global confectionery producer which makes iconic brands such as Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder, and is one of Brantford largest employers, is looking to attract people to their Brantford operations in positions ranging from electrician and industrial millwright to production supervisor and microbiology lab technician.

Mott Manufacturing, which produces laboratory equipment at their 225, 000 square foot facility in Brantford, is seeking to fill openings that include assemblers, machine operators and MIG/TIG Welder.

Several employers have held job fairs in recent weeks including Stubbe’s Precast in Brant County who boasted offers on the spot for general labourers at their onsite job fair September 11th and the Brant Community Healthcare System held a nursing career fair September 15th.

Apotex Pharmachem in Brantford, who are looking to hire chemical operators and chemists, are holding a job fair in partnership with St. Leonard’s Community Services on September 29th. Those interested in applying for positions with Apotex can register through this link or learn more by contacting

Other employers with the top number of job opportunities shown on Grand Erie Jobs include the well-known regional steel manufacturer Stelco Canada, who are hiring production operators among other positions for their Nanticoke and Hamilton locations. The Norfolk General Hospital is experiencing a dire shortage of medical staff and is hiring for over 40 full-time and part-time positions (RPN, RN and lab positions).

Both the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board and Grand Erie District School Board have been advertising open positions. Norfolk County has shown a recruitment surge the past month with 26 full-time and part-time positions posted and other top employers hiring include BGI Retail, Swiss Chalet, Lowe’s, VON and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Job search site had busy 1st year

Job search site had busy 1st year

Job search site Grand Erie Jobs had a busy first year, with 26,000 jobs listed from 5,000 businesses.

The region’s job market saw many ups and downs due to the pandemic during Grand Erie Jobs’ first year, July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, but local businesses were on the lookout for employees throughout the year.

July 2020 saw about 1,700 postings on the job search site, with increased numbers in the following months until postings dipped to 1,200 in December.  Things rebounded steadily in 2021, with June setting a new monthly high for job postings with 2,900. July has maintained that high.

The ups and down show COVID-19’s impact: businesses opening, closing, reopening, re-closing for short stints.

About 5,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes and types in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant, advertised job openings during Grand Erie Jobs’ first year.

Grand Erie Jobs has become the largest, most comprehensive job search site in the area, and that benefits job seekers and employers.

Top Skills Requested

Many of the top skills employers were looking for involved the ability to work with people and deal with problems: customer service, attention to detail, organization, interpersonal skills, problem solving and time management. Many employers were also looking for management and sales related experience.

Job applicants could improve their hiring chances by demonstrating that they have these skills and experience.

Top jobs advertised by job title on Grand Erie Jobs: Material Handler, General Labourer, General Farm Labourer, Customer Service Representative, Personal Support Worker, Forklift Operator and Sales Associate.

But there were hundreds of different occupations listed, everything from Sales Manager to Pharmacist, University Lecturer, Carpenter, Dental Assistant, Transport Truck Driver and Tax Arrears Collector.

Employers in every sector of the economy, from Construction to Health Care to Manufacturing, were looking to hire at some point.

Top Companies Hiring

The Brant County Healthcare System, which operates Brantford General Hospital and The Willett Urgent Care Centre in Paris, was the No. 1 advertiser of jobs that appeared on Grand Erie Jobs. The hospital system employs more than 2,000 people.

Other top public-sector employers included: Grand Erie District School Board, Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, Norfolk County, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Band Council, Norfolk General Hospital and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Top private-sectors employers included Lowe’s, VON Canada, Aspire Bakeries (formerly known as ARYZTA), VG Meats and DHL Supply Chain.

Job openings in certain fields were particularly hard to fill. This was true for jobs in agriculture, in industrial and construction trades, and for home support workers.

The large majority of jobs advertised over the last year on Grand Erie Jobs, 86% or better, were full-time, permanent positions. This dispels a commonly heard complaint that employers only want to hire people part-time or on short-term contracts.

Labour Shortage

There are reports from across Canada that there’s a labour shortage as businesses struggle to find people to fill positions.

There are some signs of that in the Grand Erie region. There are also signs that fewer people are using free employment services offered by Employment Ontario agencies.

Some workers are sitting on the sidelines and taking a wait-and-see approach to the job market, due to uncertainty over the pandemic.

In some cases, people are taking a pause while they consider their next moves: Do they want to go back to the same job? Do they want to switch careers? Do they want to go into training or back to school?

Employment Ontario agencies can help people answer these questions.

It is expected that more people will get back into the job market in the Fall, after school resumes. Some residents may be hesitant to commit to a job until they know with more certainty that in-class learning will be available for their children.

When people are ready to get back into the job market, the Grand Erie Jobs will be an essential tool they can use.

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