Year Two Overview
Year two of the Midwestern Ontario Regional Green Jobs Strategy (GJS) will build on what we learned by:
Conducting a Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) exercise. We will re-engage those business owners in the region’s green economy to undertake a modified BRE exercise. With the businesses that have already been identified, plus new entrants, and a new Community Futures region in the partnership (Elgin Business Resource Centre), we are looking at approximately 100 companies to be surveyed (at least 10 per CFDC region).
We will compile and analyze the BRE data to draw out common issues and opportunities across the sector that can help formulate a regional green business development strategy for implementation by project partners. This would allow for continued support of job creation efforts over the next 3-5 years.
Developing a Workforce Development Strategy. The second area of priority will be to take what we are learning about the green job market and its inherent skills profiles, and translate that information into action plans that address the emerging workforce needs of the sector. We will develop a strategy that is both workable and effective in terms of ensuring workforce availability and ensuring that local people benefit from jobs being created in the region.
Analyzing Green Economy Policy. We have learned some valuable lessons so far about how green policy is manifesting itself in Midwestern Ontario. The field is littered with both carrots and sticks and it is sometimes hard to find what the leverage points are to move forward. For this reason, we have seen nowhere near the level of community engagement that we would have anticipated. We suggest a series of dialogues with our community leaders that help paint the landscape of what is happening (both positive and negative) in this region with respect to the green economy.
This exercise will have two outcomes:
First, it will create awareness and educate our community leaders about the potential opportunities that exist in the green economy, how our communities can benefit, and what role they may have to play in supporting its growth and development.
- Secondly, a policy statement or brief will be produced that succinctly, and in definitive terms outlines what is working in Ontario with respect to encouraging green development, and what is hindering its evolution. The target audience for delivering this message would be the upper echelons of at least a few provincial ministries, including the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities, the Ministry of Economic Development & Trade; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food & Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Energy.
- First, it will create awareness and educate our community leaders about the potential opportunities that exist in the green economy, how our communities can benefit, and what role they may have to play in supporting its growth and development.