Corey Shenken says people are looking for help to transition into the electric vehicle (EV) sector.
And because of that, the special projects lead with Workforce WindsorEssex says a new online tool has been created.
"There is still a little bit of uncertainty about the skill sets that are needed for the jobs that are popping up in the EV sector, so we're trying to make it as easy as possible for job seekers to find that information to get a jump start," said Shenken, who adds they're targeting the area's rich automotive workforce.
He says the online resource was released to provide career transition suggestions for people with automotive or manufacturing experience.
"A lot of those individuals can transfer into those jobs now with very minimal upskilling, some without any upskilling at all. So we just want to make it easier for them to get a jump start while the sector is still new and while it's still growing in our region."
Corey Shenken, special projects lead with Workforce WindsorEssex, talks about the new EV Career Pathways Resource on the Workforce WindsorEssex website. (Dalson Chen/CBC)
The new EV Career Pathways Resource is available on the Workforce WindsorEssex website.
This is not to be confused with a similar portal announced last month: EVCareers.ca. That is a job posting site and worker registry tool brought online to connect job seekers with employers.
"This is a resource that informs individuals who are looking to make a career switch on what type of upskilling they may need and what education is required to make that jump. So this is much more of an informational resource."
With growth in the electrification of vehicles, Shenken says eventually there will be job losses in the traditional automotive and manufacturing sectors — but, so far, they've yet to see that happen.
"We're trying really to be a leader in helping the individuals who may lose their jobs to be able to transition to the many new jobs that are being created as a result of the electrification."
Potential path forward for laid off auto sector workers
Linda Poho hopes former Syncreon workers in Windsor will be able to utilize the job resource portal and transition industries.
Nearly 300 employees were laid off in 2022.
The Ontario government put up $550,000 last fall to fund the Unifor Local 195 action centre — to focus on searching for new jobs, career planning, counselling and resume writing.
EV sector job resource tool was announced during a Thursday media conference at the Unifor Local 195 Action Centre in Windsor, Ont. (Dalson Chen/CBC)
Poho, who's the centre's coordinator, says there's "quite a need" for an online tool like this.
"I think people are excited about this transition, but when there's something new, there's always a fear and we just have to adjust."
Poho says any fears surrounding the shift to EV are to do with upskilling and securing the necessary training.
"We have a very skilled workforce here in Windsor … it's just … a matter of transitioning and getting the upskilling. But they have everything else that is in place for them to succeed."
Women look to get into EV sector on ground floor
Rose Anguiano Hurst calls EV technology and the industry the "talk of the town."
The executive director of Women's Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) of Windsor says she's hoping as many women as possible can get into the sector on the ground floor.
"We've already trained 358 women," she said. "Those will be people that will be looking for jobs for sure. And in addition to that, we have the many job seekers that come to us on a daily basis, including many that come with internationally trained qualifications."
Rose Anguiano Hurst is the executive director of Women's Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) of Windsor, Ont. (Dalson Chen/CBC)
Hurst says WEST is always looking for opportunities to connect with the workforce — and this website is one more avenue to do that.
"Make those connections and hopefully offer new assessment tools where we can see the job requirements that people are looking for and how to match them up with the job seekers that we have. So we're excited to learn more about it for sure."