Meeting the increasing demands of employers for skilled workers is a top priority for the London Economic Development Corporation, which has appointed a new Director of Workforce Development to focus on that goal.
Jennifer Wallace, a business development specialist, will identify gaps and opportunities in the workforce and develop strategies to meet the changing needs of London businesses.
Jennifer will work closely with employers and with partner organizations with similar goals, such as Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), Human Resource Professionals of London and District (HRPLD), Fanshawe College and The University of Western Ontario.
LEDC President and CEO, John Kime says that as the LEDC carries out its mandate of attracting new business and supporting existing businesses, it is essential to help employers find and train the workers they need. "All the research tells us that attraction and retention of skilled workers will be the greatest challenge facing employers in the next 5 to 15 years," says Kime. "Our job will be to positively influence the development of the London workforce in the most effective ways. Jennifer has been hired specifically to identify employer requirements and develop strategies to fulfill those requirements."
The LEDC, in partnership with HRDC and HRPLD is about to conduct a survey of 450 London area employers who are members of HRPLD. The survey, combined with labour force market data collected by government, will offer a good overview of the existing and predicted requirements in many sectors.
Jeny Wallace moved to London earlier this year from Australia where she served as Executive Officer of an association that represents 49 Business Enterprise Centres in New South Wales. Jeny also managed a regional Business Enterprise Centre for eight years. In 2000, she was awarded a fellowship which included a 10-week tour of Canada and the U.S. to study business development programs and incubators. London was one of the cities she visited. "London impressed me as a progressive larger city, with a small-community warmth. Its educational opportunities, healthcare resources and strong business sectors mean it's well positioned for future growth. I'm looking forward to helping the community take advantage of that."
Jeny began work for the LEDC this week.
For more information contact:
Lesley Cornelius (519) 661-5009
Director, Marketing and Communications