To view the What Works: Guiding Your Child’s Career Journey webinar script in French use the google translate feature in the top right corner of your web browser and select French.

What Works: Guiding Your Child’s Career Journey


Good Evening,

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

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

We are here today to help further equip you for the important role that you have each day- raising our future workforce. In a world of ever-changing and growing careers this is an exciting task, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Knowing this, we have created resources that we hope can be adapted to use in your everyday life, as you encourage your child to explore career opportunities and further develop their own skill sets and interests. 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.


Through our time today we hope to talk about:

  • Our local population
  • Local promising sectors and industry trends- what are in-demand jobs?
  • The Career Exploration Process
  • Resources that you and your child can use
  • Skills that employers are looking for


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. That said, if you have questions at any time please feel free to use the question/discussion box on the right hand side of your screen. We will pause the webinar in order to answer your questions as we go along. If your question will be answered as part of our webinar material then we will hold off answering it until we reach that part of the webinar. You’ll notice that there are handouts that we have provided as well- these are copies of some of our resources that may be of value to you. One of the handouts has a link to all of the resources that we will be discussing in our time this evening.

If you know of other parents who would benefit from this webinar then be sure to tell them that we will be posting a recording of the webinar on our website, so it will be available for view.

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.

Our mandate is to plan, facilitate and advocate for regional workforce development. Essentially what this means is that we collect information on trends in the labour market and share our findings and resources to help employers, job seekers, educators, and community organizations be more aware of what’s happening and in turn be more successful.


A large part of what we look at is local labour market information, which is key for the career exploration process. But what exactly is local labour market information?

Labour market information is information about the jobs in any location- in our case, Windsor-Essex.

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




We’re going to start today with a brief overview of information about our region that may be of interest to you. This information may not seem like it’s related to careers at first, but it will help to add some further perspective to our overall discussion and you may learn something about our community that you weren’t previously aware of. We will try to break these numbers and charts down a bit so that the data isn’t too overwhelming for you!  Firstly, let’s take a look at our population. From 2011 to 2016, the population of Windsor-Essex has changed in size as well as age distribution.


The population of Windsor-Essex had a 2.6% change in population which is an increase of 10,171 people. Windsor-Essex has an aging population. Age groups over the age of 55 saw the greatest percentage increases in their groups between 2011 and 2016, with ages 65-74 experiencing the largest increase of 26.3%. This is likely due to an influx of retirees from outside the area. The prime working age population of 25-54 saw an average decrease in population by 3%.[1],[2]



We can also take a look at our region’s educational attainment. Overall, the population of Windsor-Essex has a range of educational attainment.

40% of those in Windsor-Essex aged 25 to 64 have a secondary school diploma or less, while 7% have an apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma, and 52% have a college or university-level education. Windsor-Essex has a lower level of educational attainment than the Ontario average. There can be a negative effect of 40% of the working aged population having only a high school diploma or less as employers may find it harder to fill skilled positions, and this population may find it difficult to find stable, fairly paid employment.[3]


1 in 4 people in Windsor-Essex is an immigrant, which refers to a person who is, or has ever been, a landed immigrant or a permanent resident. A total of 85,810 people in Windsor-Essex are immigrants. Of these immigrants, 10,800 are newcomers who settled in Windsor-Essex between 2011 and 2016. A newcomer is an immigrant who has been here for five years or less.[4] Considering the population in Windsor-Essex increased by 10,171 people between 2011 and 2016, Windsor-Essex might have otherwise had a decrease in population without the arrival of newcomers.

Immigrants are well-educated, with 70% possessing a minimum of a high school diploma, and 47% possessing a post-secondary education.[5]

As seen above, the majority of those who migrate into Windsor-Essex are from outside of Canada.

As we’ve gone through these data sets you may have been able to connect your own family’s story with some of the information that has been shared. Perhaps you see where you would fall within some of these charts, or perhaps you were unaware of some of this information about our region.  Overall, as a region, we want to see young talent staying in our area. You have the opportunity to expose your child or children to the amazing work that is being done in our region to encourage them to stay local long term. Our hope is that the information we equip you with today can help you to learn more about our local workforce, and to learn more about steps you can take in guiding your child through their career exploration process. We know it’s no small feat- which is why we’re here to help.


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. There will be specific roles required for the actual bridge building, such as iron workers and heavy equipment operators, but there are numerous additional roles that will be required for other bridge related projects, such as carpenters for building toll booths, etc.
    • Jobs: 7,977 in Windsor-Essex
    • Top 5 occupations expecting growth:
      • Construction Trades Labourers
      • Heavy Equipment Operators
      • Electricians
      • Carpenters
      • Iron Workers



  • If your child or children are interested in this sector we would advise that they take a look at our Help Bridge Your City resources which provide an overview of the occupations that will be needed for the Gordie Howe International Bridge.


  • Professional, Scientific and Technical services
    • Tech 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 in this sector.
    • 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


  • If your child or children are interested in this sector then we would advise that they 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.



  • Health Care and Social Assistance
    • This sector is currently experiencing what is known as a Silver tsunami as we witness an increased number of retirements in certain occupations as well as increase demand for health care services. There are many “behind the scenes” jobs that are involved in this sector. Each spring we have the opportunity to take a select number of students on an in-depth tour of the Windsor Regional Hospital to learn more about these jobs. If this is something that is of interest to you feel free to connect with us to see if there’s room left on our upcoming tour in May.
    • 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


  • Manufacturing
    • Students often feel as though Manufacturing is dark, dirty and dangerous- and they 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


  • Repair and Maintenance
    • We live in a car driven area, so there will always be a need for repairs, particularly there is a high demand for truck repair. Specialized cleaner is another job path to consider: think about the inside of your car or a truck/trailer and the materials that are being carried (hazardous materials, food, seeds, etc.). The trailers 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


  • 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

SLIDES 17-18

  • Entrepreneurship: One final area that we love to discuss is Entrepreneurship. In our region is comprised of a large proportion of small businesses and we have many supports to help them, including supports for students still in school. An example of one of these supports is Summer Company- which is hosted by the Small Business Centre.


Your child may or may not know the career path they’d like to take one day. So let’s start from the basics of career exploration. Your child is going to face a world of work that is constantly changing due to advancing technology and population changes. It is very possible that your child will one day work in a job that does not yet exist! It is important that your child be able to identify their interests and skills and learn how these can fit into the available jobs. This process is part of your child’s career navigation. The sooner you can emphasize this process in their lives means that your child will be better equipped to make course and career related decisions.

Today we will discuss four steps of career exploration:

  1. Self- Reflection
  2. Keeping Track of This Knowledge
  3. Career Exploration
  4. Trying Things Out


Let’s take a closer look at what each of these means and how you can implement it in your home environment.


  1. Self- Reflection is providing the opportunity for your child to reflect on their experiences, and to see what those reflections teach them about themselves. When examining their experiences, you can encourage your child to ask:
    1. What did I like/dislike about this experience?
    2. What made me feel comfortable/uncomfortable?
    3. Did I learn anything about myself?
    4. Would I like to do this again?

Your child can also ask you for help with this. You can give them insight into different aspects of their self-knowledge such as:

  1. What are their strengths? Weaknesses?
  2. What do people admire in them?
  3. When do they seem to get bored?
  4. What do they lose track of time doing?
  5. In what situations or environments are they the most natural & relaxed?
  6. What subjects have they done well/poorly in?


  1. Self-Knowledge: Your child can keep track of this self-knowledge by recording it in a notebook or an electronic document. You could even have a paper on the fridge that you use to keep track. It can be as formal or as informal as you’d like. The more they learn about themselves, the more they can add and edit this self-knowledge and look for patterns (for example, if your child is always happy when they are creating, this would be a pattern). Once they find these patterns, they can begin looking at careers that may fit these patterns. One example of a piece of information your child could record would be: I like to be creative. I was happy when I was building Legos and when I was making a poster for school.


  1. It would be great for your child to be exposed to as many careers as possible so that they know their options and can start to consider what would be best for them.

There are many different ways that your child can explore careers:

  • Share your own career journey (your successes, failures, choices, etc.) with your child. Talk about what led you to the career you are in, what you like about your job, the types of work that you do each day, etc. You can then ask friends and family to speak to your child about their careers. This could be as simple as informally discussing careers over dinner one evening. You can encourage your child to ask people questions such as:
    • Why did you choose this career?
    • What do you like/dislike about this career?
    • What do you do on an average day in your career?
    • What skills & education do you need to get into your career?

These questions can be altered to suit your child’s development.

  • You can also identify the careers that are involved with their interests. For example, if
    your child enjoys video games, discuss the types of jobs that are involved in creating and selling those games.
  • When you are out in the community, discuss the various careers you encounter. For example, you may drive by a company that you are unfamiliar with. Take some time to search for the company online and discover who they are, what they do and the types of jobs that would be found there.
  • Explore your child’s interests in different, fun ways. Watch movies, read books, or play games related to the interest so they can explore it further.
  • Your child can do internet searches of specific career types (such as “creative careers”). Check out career video sites that make learning about careers interesting.
    If your child develops an understanding of where they’d like to end up in their career, but they are unsure of where to begin in the working world, we would encourage them to take a look at WEexplore. This tool will show students (and yourself) potential pathways for our local in-demand occupations. It also includes a look at education options, wages, skills and job descriptions.

Your child can also explore our career profiles. These profiles highlight key information for in-demand jobs in our community.

Our Workforce Wednesday blog series may also be an interesting and fun read. You can explore these blogs to learn more about local professionals and their work experiences:




  1. Trying things out- aka. Experiential Learning

This is one of the most important parts of career exploration- this is so important that we made a guidebook just for you on this topic called A Parent’s Guide to Experiential Learning. Experiential learning could mean a wide variety of experiences such as- volunteering, taking part in a co-op placement or internship, extra-curricular activities, field trips or family outings, etc. Essentially it involves learning by doing something. There are countless benefits for your child by taking part in experiential learning opportunities.  Your child will learn more about themselves once they try out more things and can use this self-knowledge to explore careers. They will also learn more about careers and will develop new skills that may be valuable to them in the future. Many employers are looking beyond academic achievements for candidates who have a variety of experiences where they have demonstrated their skill sets. These types of learning opportunities may also help to build confidence in your child. Once your child has tried something, they can go back to the self-reflection step and reflect on that experience.




If you’re looking for additional resources that your child can use for a more in-depth exploration, we’d encourage you to check out WEnav. WEnav is a free, online career counselling program. We developed it a few years ago through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It has been presented throughout the province, and used in many different areas in Canada. This 6 section curriculum covers topics such as: Career Navigation and Exploring Careers, Self- Knowledge, Relevant Skills, Looking Ahead, and Developing and Action Plan. This program is designed for use by educators and employment counsellors, however, it is flexible enough that you will be able to use it with your child. It is a completely modifiable curriculum- meaning that materials are available in Word and fillable PDF form, so that materials can be adjusted as you require. Powerpoint presentations are included, and slides can be added or removed as needed. Materials are all available in French and in English, and additional resource pages with local labour market updates and links to LMI news are easily at your fingertips.



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 needs and goals of your child.

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.


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.




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.


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
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 28 – 29

Now that we have some familiarity with local promising sectors and the career exploration process, 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
  • 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.


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

We like to say that school is a perfect training ground for many of these skills, and you as parents may naturally provide opportunities to develop these skills in ways that your children may not realize are helping to prepare them for being part of our workforce one day. Additionally, as mentioned before, taking part in experiential learning opportunities is an excellent way to develop the skills that employers are looking for.


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!







[1] Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001.

[2] Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-XWE.

[3] Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001.

[4] Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001.

[5] Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016253.