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New report highlights growth of green economy, expanding job opportunities in Windsor-Essex

Workforce WindsorEssex released the report — an Employment Ontario project, funded in part by the government of Canada and the government of Ontario — on Friday. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
Workforce WindsorEssex released the report — an Employment Ontario project, funded in part by the government of Canada and the government of Ontario — on Friday. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

A new report highlighting the growth of the green economy and the expanding job opportunities in the green industry in Windsor-Essex County is being hailed as a great resource for people looking for green jobs.

Workforce WindsorEssex released the report — an Employment Ontario project, funded in part by the government of Canada and the government of Ontario — on Friday.

"Great news for Windsor," was how Andrea Ducharme, lead job developer at the Unemployed Help Centre (UHC), reacted to the report.

"It's a great opportunity to find resources to get the help that you need and the guidance to pursue some of these positions that will be upcoming," Ducharme said.

The report outlines green jobs that can currently be pursued in Windsor-Essex, as well as occupations that will be introduced as the electric vehicle (EV) sector develops after recent investments in the industry. It also highlights local educational programs that can lead students toward green jobs.

Kal Fakhreddin
Kal Fakhreddin

Kal Fakhreddin, a project coordinator and research analyst at Workforce WindsorEssex, authored the report. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Kal Fakhreddin, a project coordinator and research analyst at Workforce WindsorEssex who authored the report, said the aim was to showcase the growth of the local green economy and the expansion of green job opportunities in Windsor-Essex.

"So, if you're passionate about the environment, you can look at our report, you can see programs that are offered locally that will lead you into the green economy sector," Fakhreddin told CBC Windsor.

"You can also see a list of potential green jobs, for example jobs in the EV industry, jobs in agriculture, and then it will showcase median wages, stuff like that, just to get a better feel for what the job is.

"If you're interested in the environment, this is a good guide to what's out there locally," Fakhreddin added.

[There are] a lot of jobs in the report, so you can really get a feel for how broad the green economy really is. - Kal Fakhreddin, research analyst, Workforce WindsorEssex

Fakhreddin said "the green economy is very expansive," and potential jobs could be in manufacturing, agriculture, transportation or other areas.

"[There are] a lot of jobs in the report, so you can really get a feel for how broad the green economy really is," she said.

Rosaire Hamlin says he's been out of work for a year and he's hoping the report will help guide him in the right direction to secure a job in the green industry.

"I'm going to use all the resources available. I will look back at that report and I will follow up on all the resources available," he said.

According to Adam Castle, director of venture services at WEtech Alliance, the transition of Canada to a green economy will be the defining economic driver of the next century.

"Much like we saw non-tech companies begin adopting a tech workforce to drive their evolution over the last century, we will see a day when all businesses participate in efforts to become environmentally sustainable," Castle said.

"Our region's workforce is prime to meet this demand head on, both for jobs that exist today and the ones that will be vital for tomorrow."

Windsor is home to a NextStar Energy EV battery plant that is currently under construction, and is set to begin battery modular production in the first half of 2024.

NextStar Energy is a partnership between Stellantis and the South Korean company LG Energy Solution. The plant will create more than 2,500 new Canadian jobs, with annual production capacity of 49.5 gigawatt hours.