To view the What Works: Exploring Your Future Career webinar script in French use the google translate feature in the top right corner of your web browser and select French.

What Works: Exploring Your Future Career

Good Morning!

Thank you so much for joining for today’s webinar Exploring Your Future Career as part of our What Works Webinar Series!

My name is Michelle Karr and I am joined by my colleague Tashlyn Teskey, and we will be your hosts today.



Before we get started today we would love to connect with you online throughout the webinar- so, take these next few moments to find us on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. We will be primarily using Twitter (@WorkforceWE) for our conversation today.

Now that you know where to find us online, let’s give you some background on what it is that we do. We are here today to help further equip you as you explore opportunities for your future career. There is a whole world of careers to explore out there, so we have created resources that can help you as you try to figure out your next steps. We believe that opportunities for learning can be found everywhere around us- especially when it comes to learning about one’s skill sets and how they can be used meaningfully in our workforce. We also know that (believe it or not!) school is perfect training grounds for many of the skills that employers are searching for in the people they want to hire. This is good news for you, because we want to help you make sure you are equipped as possible to enter the workforce and make a positive difference in our community.


Today we want to cover the following topics with you:

  • Labour market information
  • Local promising sectors and industry trends- what are in-demand jobs?
  • The Job Demand report and Labour Force Survey- what are these and why are they important
  • Wage information
  • Skills that employers are looking for
  • Experiential Learning
  • Workforce WindsorEssex resources that will be helpful to you in your career exploration processAlong the way we will touch on Workforce WindsorEssex resources that will be helpful to you.

If there’s anything else you’d like us to talk about, tweet us (or use the question box) and we will see if we can sneak your information in or follow up with you after the webinar.

We have a lot of information to cover in a short amount of time, so we will try to keep this webinar moving at a good pace.

So without further ado, let’s jump into today’s session!


To start off, you may or may not be familiar with who Workforce WindsorEssex is and what we do.

Workforce WindsorEssex serves the Windsor-Essex region as the Local Employment Planning Council.
We are a trusted source for labour market information and intelligence in our region.


What is labour market information? (LMI for short)

Labour market information (LMI) is information about the jobs in any location.

LMI includes information about:

  • Jobs that are available in certain locations or sectors
  • Salaries
  • Employers that are hiring/laying off
  • Working conditions
  • What employers are looking for
  • Job areas that likely will grow or shrink
  • Unemployment rates
  • The education/training needed for certain jobs or sectors
  • Information about the people who are working in a location or sector

These are all important topics to keep in mind as you consider your future career.

At this point in your life you may or may not know what you envision as your future career. That’s okay!

Today we want to walk you through some steps you can take in exploring your potential options.


We want to start today off by giving you a glimpse of our local population.


Between 2011 and 2016, Windsor-Essex saw an increase 4,144 people. However, we had 1, 283 working aged people (18-24) leave our community.


Migration by Age Cohort – Windsor-Essex: 2011 – 2016 26

Age Group In-migrants Out-migrants Net-migrants
0-17 10,990 7,765 3,225
18-24 6,701 7,043 -342
25-44 18,919 19,860 -941
45-64 8,721 7,232 1,489
65+ 3,249 2,536 713
Total 48,580 44,436 4,144


All of that to say- we need YOU- your talent, skills and abilities in our local workforce! WindsorEssex has a diversity of employment opportunities that you may not be aware of!


Oftentimes are approached with inquiries related to in-demand jobs. What are the promising sectors? What industries are currently hiring?

Our current local promising sectors include:

  • Construction
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical services
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Manufacturing
  • Repair and Maintenance
  • Education

Let’s go through a few highlights for each of those sectors:


  • Construction
  • As you may know, we have a few large construction projects coming our way, including the Gordie Howe International Bridge and the mega hospital, and eventually high speed rail. For the first project, the bridge, there will be specific roles required, such as iron workers and heavy equipment operators, as well as numerous additional roles that will be required for the full infrastructure needs, such as carpenters for building toll booths or plumbers and HVAC workers to complete the customs offices. Right now there are almost 8000 people working in Construction, with that number expected to grow greatly once these projects are started. It is important to keep in mind that those who work on the bridge project will likely have the skills and experience to work on the mega hospital as well. So right now is a good time to enter this sector because of the consistent work that is expected.
  • Jobs: 7,977 in Windsor-Essex
  • Top 5 occupations expecting growth:
    • Construction Trades Labourers
    • Heavy Equipment Operators
    • Electricians
    • Carpenters
    • Iron Workers

-SLIDE 10-

  • If you are interested in this sector we would suggest you check out our Help Bridge Your City resources which provide an overview of the occupations that will be needed for the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

-SLIDE 11-

  • A large part of this sector is the technology industry, which can involve anything from mobile app development to software development to social media or graphic design. It is an everchanging sector, with new jobs such as a social media writer, popping up all the time. We have a number of larger and smaller firms involved in tech in our region, and many community members are employed across the border as well. It is important to keep in mind though that tech workers don’t just work in the technology industry; they work in all sectors. Every other industry uses tech devices, such as electronic cash registers in stores and restaurants, automated equipment on auto assembly lines, or robots in the operating room. While tech workers may not be the person operating each of these machines, they may be responsible for designing the machine or providing maintenance if necessary. This sector does not only include tech workers though, it also includes jobs like engineers, lawyers, and architects.
  • Jobs: 4,128 in Windsor-Essex
  • Top 5 occupations expecting growth:
    • Mechanical Engineers
    • Information Systems Analysts
    • Biological Engineers
    • Paralegals
    • Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers

-SLIDE 12-

  • If you are interested in this sector then you should check out the Windsor-Essex Tech Sector section of our website- here you’ll find our recently released tech report, networking opportunities, videos of local companies and information on learning about tech.

-SLIDE 13-

  • Health Care and Social Assistance
    • This sector is currently experiencing what is known as a Silver tsunami as we witness an increase in retirements in certain occupations as well as increased demand for health care services. When most people think of this sector, they first think of doctors and nurses, however there are many “behind the scenes” jobs that are involved in this sector as well, including maintenance, counselling, and culinary positions. With the increase in needed support for our aging population and those requiring mental health services, the need for support workers, such as social workers, counsellors, and homecare providers is increasing as well.
    • Jobs: 20,353 in Windsor-Essex
    • Top 5 occupations expecting growth:
      • Registered Nurses
      • Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates
      • Food Counter Attendants and Kitchen Helpers
      • Social and Community Service Workers
      • Nursing Coordinators and Supervisors

-SLIDE 14-

  • Manufacturing
    • You may think that Manufacturing is dark, dirty and dangerous- and you really don’t want to go there. That’s why each October we take hundreds of students out to tour local manufacturing companies to learn more about what manufacturing actually is. These students discover that robotics and technology have really changed what manufacturing looks like and the types of jobs that are associated with it. They also discover that manufacturing is not limited to the automotive world. In fact, our favourite example of this comes from a local company called Radix Inc. that is known for creating the system of lasers that is used to do quality control of gummy bears.
    • Jobs: 30,685 in Windsor-Essex
    • Top 5 occupations expecting growth :
      • Labourers in Metal Fabrication
      • Machining Tool Operators
      • Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians
      • Plastic Products Assemblers, Finishers and Inspectors
      • Metal Products Machine Operators

-SLIDE 15-

  • Repair and Maintenance
    • We live in a car driven area, exemplified by our large manufacturing industry, so there will always be a need for repairs, particularly a high demand for truck and trailor repair. While most mechanics specialize in small automobiles, there is a huge need for those that are trained and certified to work with large tractor-trailors and heavy equipment, such as tractors. Without these mechanics, the transportation and agriculture industries can suffer simply due to a lack of working equipment. Specialized cleaners are also in demand. If you think about the inside of your car, imagine the inside of a tractor-trailor and the materials they are carrying (hazardous materials, food, seeds, ). The trailors need to be cleaned before carrying anything new.
    • Jobs: 2,014 in Windsor-Essex
    • Top 5 occupations expecting growth :
      • Welders and Related Machine Operators
      • Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers
      • Specialized Cleaners
      • Labourers in Metal Fabrication
      • Contractors and Supervisors of Mechanic Trades

-SLIDE 16-

  • Education
    • Retirements in this sector, and an increase in our population due to immigration is driving up enrollment. French continues to be a demand in this sector. There are many roles to consider when looking at Education.
    • Jobs: 14,062 in Windsor-Essex
    • Top 5 occupations expecting growth :
      • Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants
      • Post-Secondary Teaching and Research Assistants
      • Secondary and Elementary School Teachers and Educational Counsellors
      • Janitors, Care Takers and Building Superintendents
      • Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers

-SLIDE 17, 18-

  • One final area that we love to discuss is Entrepreneurship. In our region we have a large number of entrepreneurs and small businesses and we have many supports to help them, including supports for students still in school. One of our favourite supports for students interested in Entrepreneurship is Summer Company. This program is run by the Small Business Centre and gives students the opportunity to run their own business throughout the course of the summer while being mentored, receiving training and having access to up to $3000 to support the development and growth of your business. We will include a link to this program in the webinar notes.

-SLIDE 19-

When looking at careers, it’s important to know that there are four different career pathways following high school. Each pathway has pros and cons and each one can lead to meaningful and promising employment. There is not one pathway that is better or worse than the others – it all depends on the your needs and goals.

So what are those pathways?

Firstly, we have Apprenticeship:

  • You do years of paid training to become a journeyperson in a specific trade. Students have the opportunity to take part in a program called the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program- OYAP for short (PAJO en francais). This allows them to start their apprenticeable hours while they are still in high school. There are more than 150 different apprenticeships. You can visit or to learn more about these opportunities.
  • Pros:
    • Earn while you learn: you can make money during your education and be eligible for grants that are available to apprentices.
    • Practical work experience: you get to experience the actual career during your education.
    • There is a need in Windsor-Essex for skilled tradespeople.
  • Con:
    • You have to find an employer who will take you on as an apprentice.
  • Sample Career Pathway:
    • An apprenticeship can lead to being a Construction Millwright, which is a promising career in the construction sector in Windsor-Essex! Construction millwrights install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. The local median wage for this career is $27.20/hr.

-SLIDE 20-

The second pathway we will look at is College.

  • Locally we have both St. Clair College and Collège Boréal. Additionally, there are private career colleges. You can visit to learn more!
  • Pros:
    • You gain a diploma and often learn applicable skills.
    • A college diploma is often cheaper & requires less time than a university degree.
    • You gain practical knowledge and are prepared for specific job areas.
  • Cons:
    • Some jobs may require a university degree.
  • Sample Career Pathway:
    • A college diploma can lead to being a Computer Network Technician, which is a promising career in the Information, Communication, Technology sector in Windsor-Essex! Computer Network Technicians establish, operate, maintain, and co-ordinate the use of local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs), mainframe networks, hardware, software, and related computer equipment. The local median wage for this career is $27.01/hr.

-SLIDE 21-

Our third pathway is University.

  • Locally we have the University of Windsor. For more information on Ontario Universities you can visit:
  • Pros:
    • You gain a degree and often learn theoretical knowledge.
    • University grads generally make the most money over an entire lifetime.
    • Many jobs require a university degree.
    • Gain theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  • Cons:
    • Usually the most expensive option; many students go into debt.
  • Sample Career Pathway:
    • A university degree can lead to being a Pharmacist, which is a promising career in the Health Sciences sector in Windsor-Essex! Pharmacists compound and dispense prescribed medications, participate in research and development of pharmaceutical products, and provide consultative services. The local median wage for this career is $53.60/hr.

-SLIDE 22-

The final pathway we will look at is the Workplace.

  • You go from high school straight to work. If you are looking for assistance in finding employment you can access one of our local Employment Ontario Service Providers. You can learn more about them at employmentontario/
  • Pros:
    • No need to pay for tuition, so you can save more money.
    • Can go for more education/training at any time.
    • Gain valuable work experience and become familiar with what you like and dislike in a career.
  • Cons:
    • You may be underqualified for many jobs.
  • Sample Career Pathway: Going straight to the workplace can lead to being a Shipper-Receiver, which is a promising career in the Logistics and Transportation sector in Windsor-Essex! Shipper-Receivers ship, receive, and record the movement of goods and stock to and from an establishment. The local median wage for this career is $18/hr.

-SLIDE 23- + sample email

  • If you want more detail on what types of jobs employers are hiring for, you can sign up for WEjobs. WEjobs is a free email that you’ll receive 2-3 times a week. One of our colleagues collects job postings for the region and compiles them into a word/ PDF document to share with the community. Over 1 000 individuals sign up to receive this email to learn about the types of jobs they can apply for.

-SLIDE 24-

A specific piece of labour market information that can be helpful as you explore your future career options is wages paid locally for various occupations. When looking at you can see a chart of occupations that are sorted by their national occupation classification code or NOC code. Looking at the median wage for a job that you are interested in will give you an idea of what they can ask for when negotiating wages for a new job. It may also help to provide a practical view of a job you are interested in.

Looking at the wages chart can give you a better idea of what the starting wage of a job may be and what that wage can become over time as you gain experience. Looking at the column for the 25th percentile wage shows what the lowest wage offered for that job is locally. The 75th percentile wage shows what the highest wage offered locally is for that job. The median wage shows what the most common wage for that job is. It is important to keep in mind that those receiving higher wages may have many years of experience in that job and are unlikely to be provided to someone entering the job without prior experience in the company or in the role. However, having specific qualifications for the job or prior experience in the role or company can be a reason to negotiate offered wages with a future employer.

-SLIDE 25-

It’s important to keep in mind that you may not start with your dream career/job. Many jobs require that you start at a “base level” and work your way up! We have created WEexplore- a tool that allows you to map out potential career paths in Windsor-Essex. We encourage you to spend some time looking at this tool so you can start to understand how a career pathway might work out. You can also check out our Workforce Profiles- these are blogs that showcase individuals locally who are working in in-demand jobs. By reading these profiles you can learn more about career pathways, education requirements and what inspired these individuals to pursue their current careers.

-SLIDE 26-

If you need access to additional resources or employment supports, we would encourage you to use WEsearch. WEsearch is a wayfinding tool that helps to connect job seekers and employers with the services that they need based on answering a few simple questions.

-SLIDE 27-

Now that we have some familiarity with local promising sectors and pathways, let’s take a closer look at the types of skills that employers have told us they are looking for in the people they hire.

There are four main types of skills that we refer to that are all important to employers:

  • Foundational Skills- basic skills you would need for a job, such as being able to read, write, listen
  • Technical Skills- more advanced skills that would be gained through doing specific training, such as writing a business plan or using a CNC machine

-SLIDE 28-

  • Soft Skills- these are your personable skills that make you a great employee, such as being able to answer a phone, knowing how to properly write an email, being on time
  • Transferable Skills- these are skills that are developed in one area and used in another, for example- a student that is part of band would understand the importance of listening well and working on a team. This could be used in just about any job setting.

-SLIDE 29-

Let’s take an even closer look at some of the specific skills employers have mentioned to us over time. They are looking for individuals who can:

  • Can manage their time
  • Has a good attitude
  • Is willing to learn
  • Can speak more than one language
  • Is reliable and punctual
  • Can work well on a team and individually
  • Takes initiative
  • Is flexible and adaptable
  • Has work experience
  • Can dress appropriately
  • Knows social media boundaries
  • Can follow health and safety regulations
  • Has technical skills

-SLIDE 30-

We like to say that high school is a perfect training ground for many of these skills, and you as students may be developing these skills in ways that you may not realize are helping to prepare you for being part of our workforce one day. One way that you can work on developing these skills while still in school is by taking part in an experiential learning opportunity. This may look like a co-op or OYAP placement or an internship, or it could be less formal- it may involve going on a field trip, having an employer in to your class to deliver a presentation, building a bird house as a class, etc. There is a wide spectrum of opportunities for you to try out! You can check out our Test Drive blog series that showcases local community members who are taking part in experiential learning opportunities.


-SLIDE 31-

We know that we’ve just shared a lot of information with you! At this time we’d like to take any remaining questions that may be out there.

As we close, we would encourage you to take some time to browse our website. As you process what you see on the site and what you’ve heard today feel free to reach out to us if there is any additional support we can provide you. Our contact information will be on your screen.

Additionally, we would appreciate it if you could complete the brief survey that you will find on the closing screen. Your responses will help us in preparing future webinars!

Thank you for spending time with us today!