Elgin-St. Thomas’s workforce strategy for present and future prosperity

Today, the service and knowledge-based economy is a major driver of urban growth. As a result, the roles of cities and regions in a global economy is being redefined and reshaped.

A cornerstone to developing a workforce development strategy for Ontario’s Elgin-St. Thomas region was an understanding of the region in terms of its human resource and development assets as well as its capacity for innovation.

To this end, the Elgin Business Resource Centre together with the Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford Countries Local Training Board retained MDB Insight to complete a workforce development strategy. This strategy was to provide a policy framework and community infrastructure that would support improvements in both the quality and quantity of its local labour supply pool and help ensure that Elgin-St. Thomas had the workforce it needed to achieve its economic development goals.

A transformation and evolution of the local economy

These strategies now have the region embarking on a new path as it relates to its future growth and investment opportunities.

The county’s historic strengths in agriculture have given rise to agri-business and agri-tourism. The potential of green manufacturing and the creative economy have also given rise to new ideas and approaches to developing a sustainable regional economy and regional workforce.

The result is a recognized need to better capitalize on existing strengths, the enhancement of skills and need for educational development, workforce retention and better engagement with business and industry.