The Manufacturing Sector Across Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford County

The Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board conducts the annual EmployerOne survey for local employers to identify their workforce needs. The EmployerOne 2021 resulted in 63 responses from businesses who identified themselves to be in the manufacturing sector. The majority of manufacturing businesses identified themselves as an established business, meaning they’ve been established for longer than five years.

The manufacturing responses in the EmployerOne2021 would lead us to believe that the manufacturing sector remains active during COVID-19. When asked to assess the impact of telework or remote work on their business, the most common response reported was a “neutral” impact (Chart 1). Given the nature of manufacturing work, we can already assume that manufacturing can rarely be done remotely. Furthermore, when asked what percentage of their workforce did they expect to continue working remotely once the pandemic was over, the majority of manufacturing businesses reported “None” (Chart 2). Out of the 59 manufacturing employers who responded to the question “Did you hire within the last 12 months?”, 55 businesses responded “Yes.” The aforementioned survey responses can lead us to comfortably assume that the manufacturing sector is currently stable and optimistic for job seekers.

But what do job seekers need to be successful? One way to approach this question is to hear what employers identify as their greatest challenges. One of the challenges commonly identified by manufacturing employers was “Recruiting and retaining skilled individuals” (Chart 3). Skills2Succeed intends to bridge this gap through employer informed training with a focus on fulfilling employer needs.