About the Workforce Summit

On Friday May 12, 2017, Workforce WindsorEssex held the region’s first ever Workforce Summit event by bringing together representatives from industry, government, employment services, education and training organizations to tackle the costly issue of people without jobs and jobs without people.

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If you have questions about the Workforce Summit, please contact Justin Falconer at 226-674-3220 ext. 854.

Video Highlight of Workforce Summit

We’re pleased to share a video highlight of the Workforce Summit event, which features our guest speakers and presenters as well as video of our attendees.

Agenda & Presentations

9:00-9:05 AM

Opening Remarks

Michelle Suchiu, Executive Director, Workforce WindsorEssex

9:05-9:10 AM

Workforce Development and Economic Development

Stephen MacKenzie, CEO, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation

9:10-9:25 AM

Analyzing the Skills Gap

Frazier Fathers, Manager of Community Impact & Learning, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County

9:25-9:35 AM

Leaving Money on the Table

Matt Marchand, President & CEO, Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce

9:35-9:50 AM

A Collective Impact Approach

Lisa Raffoul, Facilitator, Collective Impact

9:50-9:55 AM

Best Practice Speaker Series Introduction

Doug Sarotri, President & Chair, Workforce WindsorEssex Board of Directors


Anyone Can Be A Developer

Anna Farr, Program Manager, Grand Circus (Detroit)

10:15-10:35 AM

Not Your Grandparents’ Continuing Education

Connie Bannister, Program Manager, School of Continuing Studies, York University (York Region)

10:35-10:45 AM

Refreshment Break

10:45-11:05 AM

Newcomer Trade Program

Merissa Preston, Training Liaison, LIUNA Local 506 (Richmond Hill)

11:05-11:25 AM

The Skills Gap: Finding the Right Umbrella in the Perfect Storm

Lisa Katz, Executive Director, Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan

11:25-11:45 AM

Collaboration and Workforce

Cheryl Sanford & Kevin Weeks, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance

11:45-12:05 PM

Vocational Educational Training in Germany

Lydia Sasnovskis, Second Secretary Political, Commercial Protocol and Science Department at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

12:05-1:05 PM

Keynote Luncheon: Ease Into Canada

Jim Estill, CEO, Danby

Jim Estill has been an entrepreneur for his entire life. Growing a technology distribution business from the trunk of his car to more than $2 Billion in sales, some could say he’s got a knack for it. He’s received a great deal of praise for his financial generosity and ongoing efforts to provide refuge to families fleeing from the civil war in Syria.

Sponsored by New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence Inc.

1:05-1:50 PM

Workforce Panel

Moderated by Shelly Fellows, Vice-President of Operations, Radix


Byron Monstrey, Human Resources Manager, AIS

Sarah Morris, Managing Director, Hackforge

Mike Ouellette, General Manager, St. Clair College Skilled Trades Regional Training Training Centre

Meagan Goudreau, Human Resources Generalist, Mucci PAC Ltd.

Sponsored by St. Clair College

1:50-3:50 PM

Sector Breakouts: Training Pathways for in-demand occupations

Agriculture and Agri-food Sector
Led by: Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund, Municipality of Leamington

Construction Sector
Led by: Jim Lyons, Windsor Construction Association

I.C.T. Sector
Led by: Doug Sartori, Parallel 42 Systems
Sponsored by WEtech

Logistics and Transportation Sector
Led by: Susan Anzolin, Institute for Border Logistics and Security

Manufacturing Sector
Led by: Mike Bilton, AP Plasman

Retail Sector
Led by: Lynette Bain, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island

3:50-4:00 PM

Next Steps

Justin Falconer, Manager of Communications & Government Partnerships, Workforce WindsorEssex