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

What Works: Strengthen Your Working

SLIDE 1 & 2:

Hello and welcome to the “What Works” webinar series, hosted by Workforce WindsorEssex.

This episode is called, “What Works: Strengthening Your Workforce Expertise,” and will focus on informing employers how to find and use certain labour market research, or LMI resources in order to strengthen their workforce expertise. We understand that being aware of specific labour market information and knowing how to use it is important for employers so that they are able to perform their jobs to the fullest potential.

My name is Corey Shenken, and I will be the host of your webinar today.

Through my time today, I hope to talk about:

  • Our local population;
  • Local promising sectors and industry trends; and
  • Other projects, tools, and resources available from Workforce WindsorEssex.

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 have reached 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.

If you are aware of any other peers in your field who would benefit from this webinar then be sure to tell them we will be posting a recording of the webinar on our website, so it will be available for viewing at a later date.

Without further ado, let’s start today’s session.


Some of the audience today might not be aware of exactly what we do at Workforce WindsorEssex.

Workforce WindsorEssex serves the Windsor-Essex region as the Local Employment Planning Council.

At Workforce WindsorEssex, our mandate is to plan, facilitate, and advocate for regional development, defined as the development, retention, and recruitment of a wide range of skilled workers to meet the current and future economic and social development needs of Windsor-Essex.



A large part of what we look at is local labour market information, or LMI for short. This information is very important for the career process. However, what exactly is LMI?

LMI is information about the jobs in any location – in our case, Windsor-Essex.

LMI includes information about:

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


This webpage contains a hub for local LMI. So, for example, if you wanted to know the levels of educational attainment in our region, just click on the corresponding link, and you will be shown statistics. Most of our statistics on this page come from Statistics Canada and this hub is a great way to easily access visually appealing labour market information.

The following is an example of how employers can use data requests to their benefit:

Please follow along with the following case study that provides an example of how small businesses in Windsor-Essex can use labour market information:

Gregg Greenhouses, located in Leamington, has 80 employees, including 3 IT staff. They generally have a good retention rate, but they often experience turnover with their IT staff and struggle to fill the positions when they post them again.

They currently pay their Network Technician $18.50/hr and pay their two Business Analysts $17/hr and $21/hr, one of which has 2 years of experience and the other 7 years of experience. Wondering whether wage is affecting their retention rate and ability to hire for these positions, they contact Workforce WindsorEssex and are provided with the following wage information for the Leamington area.

Looking at this table (refer to presentation), they determine they should be paying their Network Technian at least $20.44/hr to be competitive in Leamington, if not more. Additionally, they decide to increase the wage of their less-experienced Business Analyst to $25/hr and that of their more experienced Analyst to $36/hour. Furthermore, they create a plan to increase their IT staff’s wages incrementally, according to the percentile information in the future.

This is an example of how small businesses can improve their employee relations simply by contacting Workforce WindsorEssex to make a quick inquiry. They were able to realize they were underpaying their employees and fixed the issue as a result.


We’re going to continue today’s webinar with a brief overview of information about our region that may be of interest to you. First, 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 also 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]

The majority of those who migrate into Windsor-Essex are from outside of Canada.


Oftentimes we are approached with inquiries related to in-demand jobs. We are asked questions, such as: 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:


The first sector we will be looking at will be 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.

There are currently 7,977 jobs in Windsor-Essex in the construction sector

Top 5 occupations expecting growth:

Construction Trades Labourers

Heavy Equipment Operators



Iron Workers



The second sector we will be reviewing today will be 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 ever changing 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


Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers


The next sector we will cover is 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 increased demand for health care services.

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






Individuals often feel as though Manufacturing is dark, dirty and dangerous – and they really don’t want to go there. However, this is not the case whatsoever. Many jobs in manufacturing involve the use of a computer to guide machines automatically. Manufacturing is the largest sector in Windsor-Essex, and offers the most current jobs. This sector is extremely important to the region for its economic imperative.

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


Another sector is 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. Truck repair should remain to be in-demand with the high volume of trucking conducted in our region, with expected numbers of trucks on the road to increase in the near future. 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



The final sector we will review today will be education.

Retirements in this sector, and an increase in our population due to immigration is driving up enrollment in schools. French speaking also 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


Some information that also may prove helpful to government agencies is the characteristics of the labour force in Windsor-Essex.

Overall, the labour force was healthy in 2016, with the unemployment rate in the region at 7.3%. However, the majority of unemployment is located disproportionately in the city of Windsor and the Township of Pelee. Windsor’s unemployment rate is more concerning as more employment opportunities are available. It is important that work continues to be done with those in Windsor who face barriers to employment to ensure they are able to access employment opportunities.

The labour force in our region saw a significant improvement from 2011 to 2016 as employment grew and unemployment dropped. The only concern was the increase in those “not in the labour force”, meaning those who are not working or actively looking for work, which increased by 3,090 people and had a negative effect on the region’s overall participation rate.

A challenge that Windsor-Essex faces due to its labour force characteristics is one of the lowest participation rates in all of Canada. A low participation rate hinders the ability of employers to find employees, as the available workforce is smaller than it could be.

An opportunity that can be taken advantage of with Windsor-Essex’s current labour force landscape is to encourage populations who are not in the labour force to enter the labour force. There are a number of actions that can be taken to do this, including more affordable and conveniently located childcare, increased micro-employment opportunities, fair wages for low-skilled positions, and investments in public transportation to ensure job opportunities can be accessed by all.

From consultations with employers in our region, we found that 78% of those consulted faced challenges in recruiting. Much of this is due to a lack of qualified candidates (which has direct ties to the region’s low participation rate).


A helpful resource that Workforce WindsorEssex provides is our Quarterly Survey results.

Workforce WindsorEssex asks employers to complete surveys each quarter (or every 3 months) to help improve the access to and quality of the region’s labour market information. We look at the demand side of our workforce through surveying local employers to understand in-demand occupations, hard-to-fill positions, and skills to fill these jobs. Following the conclusion of each survey, a bulletin with the findings is released to the public and is available on the Workforce WindsorEssex website. All data collected in these surveys remains confidential and is only reported on the aggregate.


An example of helpful data that can be withdrawn from our quarterly surveys are which jobs are in-demand and which jobs are hard-to-fill. A position that is in-demand is one that employers are currently hiring many workers for. A position that is hard-to-fill is one that employers are having difficulty filling, which can be due to a multitude of reasons, such as a lack of qualified candidates.

Our latest quarterly survey identified the following as some of the top hard-to-fill positions in WindsorEssex:

  • Business Analyst
  • CNC Machinist
  • Cook
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Full-Stack Developer
  • Mold Maker
  • Project Manager
  • Truck Driver


The data we collect from our quarterly survey is just some of the important labour force information that we disseminate into the community.

Some other helpful info we gather comes from tools we use inside the office, such as the program Talent Neuron. TalentNeuron is actually one of the many research tools we use at Workforce WindsorEssex to conduct our research. Its primary function is to allow viewers to see job demand reports for specific jobs in specific regions. An example of the information you can find on TalentNeuron is the top skills employers are hiring for in a region by tracking online job postings related to the job. For example, in 2017, there were 14,872 online job postings in the region from almost 5,000 unique employers.

The top 5 technical skills employers were looking for were as follows:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Freight+ software
  • Forklift operation
  • Bilingualism
  • Preventative maintenance

The top 5 soft skills according employers were looking for are as follows:

  • Detail oriented
  • Oral and written communication
  • Team player
  • Customer service oriented
  • Dependability

These data inquiries allows us at Workforce WindsorEssex to identify certain challenges and opportunities in the community. For example, through a multitude of research conducted with these tools we identified that there are not enough candidates to fill positions and businesses may not be operating at full capacity as positions go unfilled, or are filled by individuals who are not fully qualified for the given position.

Of course, we attempt to come up with solutions for each of the challenges we identify. For example, to address the issue above, our community could find ways to educate or train the unemployed and youth about in-demand positions, and connect them to services to find these jobs.

You may now be wondering, how can I have access to this type of data? Did you know you can make a data request to Workforce WindsorEssex to request information such as the data we find on tools like TalentNeuron.


You can visit this webpage, and fill out all the sections that you would like to receive data for. We are pretty good with our response rate to data requests, depending on the size of the request, and will usually provide a response to you within 24 hours.


At Workforce WindsorEssex, we believe that Labour Market Information and other forms are data are very valuable and should be shared with community partners as often as possible to build a stronger workforce and working relations within the community.

The next section of our webinar will be dedicated to the numerous resources and tools available from Workforce WindsorEssex that can be used in a multitude of ways to create a stronger and more well-informed workforce in Windsor-Essex.

The first is our Guide to Recruitment and Retention for Small Business in Windsor-Essex

The guide was developed to help small businesses consider different approaches for recruiting and retaining talent, including topics like interviewing, onboarding, offering perks, investing in employees, and others.

This guide can be found at:


As an employer, you can use the guide to help you with recruitment and retention of talent for your small business, considering local best practices and labour market information as you implement strategies found in the guide.

Through research, we found that 70% of employers face challenges in the recruitment of employees and 42% face challenges in retaining existing employees. We wanted to understand these challenges in more detail while also gathering information on some local employer-driven techniques and initiatives that are being implemented. The purpose of this booklet is to aggregate and share a host of resources to encourage other businesses that might be experiencing similar challenges, options to consider that can be used and implemented to improve recruitment and retention.

The first section of the booklet is dedicated to tips on recruitment for employers.

So, for example: what type of method are employers using to recruit? We found that most employers use online job boards, such as Indeed. We also inform employers on how to write or post an effective job posting, with a clear job description, a clear distinction between assets and requirements, description of compensation, perks, and workplace culture, and effective methods of posting the job.

Next, we have the interview process and the onboarding of employees to the company. It is important that employers are prepared with questions beforehand for the interview process, decide on the process itself, involve other team members, and get creative. Once the candidate is chosen, it is important for the employer to put together a solid contract and to orient new hires.

We also go over in the report the different types of workers available in Windsor and the benefits of each, such as newcomers having good technical skills, or students bringing new perspectives and innovative approaches to old problems.

The second half and conclusion of the report are dedicated to effectively onboarding an employee and tips for retaining them for the foreseeable future. Some tips for onboarding are making sure they are comfortable on their first day, and making sure their duties/roles are clearly spelled out for them so they are not confused at all. Some tips for retention of employees are fostering a friendly team environment, and/or providing perks for your employees.

We conducted a webinar in the past on this guide, which goes over it in much greater detail. A recording of this webinar is available at:



A small section of the small business guide is to inform employers on how beneficial experiential learning opportunities are and can be for them.

We at Workforce WindsorEssex are strong believers in experiential learning opportunities and believe these can be extremely beneficial to employers who take advantage of them.

Experiential learning helps connect classroom learning with workplace experiences. These experiences provide hands-on and work integrated learning opportunities in addition to including an aspect of reflection.

Examples of experiential learning include: co-op placements, internships, apprenticeships, tours, and more.

Workforce WindsorEssex has created what is known as the Experiential Learning Hub to inform the population more about the benefits of experiential learning.

We have created resources for employers, parents, and students in this hub, but for the purposes of this webinar, we will focus on the employer guide to experiential learning.

Are you an employer who would like to take advantage of these opportunities but you don’t know where to get started?

The guide is available at the following webpage:

Employers will obviously want to click on the download for the employer’s guide, available in French or English.

This guide goes over many steps for employers to help them better understand the experiential learning process and its benefits.

The first section of the report entails how employers can get involved in hosting an experiential learning opportunity, with the first step being getting in touch with a program coordinator for experiential learning.

The benefits of hosting an experiential learning opportunity are then laid out for the employer, such as: Participants bringing a fresh perspective and technological intuitiveness, being able to “test-run” a potential future employee on the job, and incentives in programs available for employers.

Employers that currently participate in these experiences were then surveyed, with some of them providing quotes on why the experience was good for them.

Finally, the report goes over steps on how an employer can start to host an experiential learning candidate. The steps are as follows:

  1. Set expectations for the participant and inform them of these expectations;
  2. Have the participant work on a meaningful activity throughout their placement;
  3. Include the participant in team activities;
  4. Make connections with the work the participant is doing and classroom learning; and
  5. Evaluate the program and placement after completed.

We believe this report and guide will be very beneficial to employers in the region who may be either aware or unaware of these experiential learning opportunities.


An upcoming project that we will be releasing this spring is called, Newcomers: Your Skilled Workforce. This resource should also prove very beneficial to employers looking to strengthen their workforce.

We released a profile of local newcomer skillsets, highlighting their work experiences and education, demonstrating an available workforce. Over 300 newcomers have been surveyed with the help of local service providers, identifying their skills and past work experiences. Best practices stories, and suggestions for diversifying workforces. An overview of the business case for a diverse workforce will also be highlighted in the profile. Preliminary findings from these survey results were shared at the Windsor-Essex Local Immigration Partnership Annual Forum on February 23. A profile of our findings, including the benefits of incorporating newcomers in your workforce and tips on how to do so successfully, will be released in spring 2018.

Employment service providers can use the profile and skillsets to increase their ability to work with newcomers and to better match newcomers with available employment opportunities.

Employers can use this resource to recognize the skills of an available workforce and connect with employment service providers to find newcomers to meet their workforce needs.


We also have a couple more upcoming projects in the works.

The first of these is our Decoding the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Workforce.

This project aims to increase development, attraction, and retention of ICT talent in Windsor-Essex through 3 different initiatives. First, Workforce WindsorEssex hosted an ICT Leadership Table each quarter for employers, educators, students, workers, and community partners in ICT to meet and discuss local ICT issues and develop actions to address these issues.

Second, we have worked with local ICT companies to develop 6 profile videos to showcase ICT opportunities in Windsor-Essex.

Third, we have surveyed students, workers, employers, and educators to gain their perspective on ICT in Windsor-Essex and have used these results along with existing data to write a report on the state of ICT in Windsor-Essex as well as a bulletin with recommendations to create an ICT “brain gain” in Windsor-Essex.

You can learn more about tech and ICT in Windsor at:

Walk-thru web page quickly.


Another one of our upcoming projects is Examining the Participation Rate.

Windsor-Essex has one of the lowest participation rates in Canada, meaning a large portion of the population is not looking for work. We have developed a video report on the low participation rate, examining the factors behind the low rate and what we can do about it.

This report will support employers by providing them with reasons individuals are choosing not to enter the labour force, so that the employers can take action to create perhaps new incentives in the workplace to attract more talent to participate in the current labour force.

Walk-thru web page quickly.


Another project run out of our office is our WEskills department. This is a project that could definitely be beneficial tom employers in search of new employees.

The section of this project that is especially helpful to employers looking to hire can be found at:

As part of this project, Workforce WindsorEssex provides the following programs and services to the community:

  • WEskills database
    • This is comprised of local resumes that the City of Windsor can use to help businesses find potential candidates for hire. The WEskills office also connects jobseekers and employers to local service providers and programs and engages the community with booths and workshops at local events
    • Workforce WindsorEssex has a WEskills database of thousands of resumes. They work with partnering employment service providers to collect resumes of unemployed and under-emplyed individuals who may have the skills and experiences that you’re looking for.
    • As a free service to employers, WFWE can perform a search in our database to identify potential candidates and introduce you, the employer, to a Job Developer at a partnering employment service provider who can work with you on the rest of the candidate recruitment and hiring process,
    • Our partnering employment service providers also have access to wage and training incentives through the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada
    • We identify resumes using your search criteria, introduce you to a partnering employment service provider contact, and advise our partner which candidate in the database has the skills and experience they are looking for. Our parnets then contact the employer directly and works with them to complete the rest of the recruitment and hiring process.

WEskills also identifies, collects, and shares:

  • News articles relating to business growth and expansion
  • New apprenticeship job postings
  • Job postings that require French-speaking candidates


Another resource on our website that can prove very valuable to employers is WEsearch. This tool can be used in many ways for employers, such as providing new supports for new businesses, information on human resources activities for businesses, and networking opportunities for businesses, just to name a few.

This tool is available at:


For the sake of this webinar, let’s say we are an employer or business that is looking to hire new employees.

This resource is located under the “human resources” in the business section of WEsearch.

Click human resources à click on hiring à let’s say you are looking to hire an unemployed person à the employer is then presented with resources to help them in the process of hiring an unemployed person. For example, we can click on one of these options and it will lead us to a landing page with contact information, an address, small information about the support, and directions via google maps.


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.