Welcome to Season 6 of ‘Making it in Ontario’, the official podcast of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing! To kick this season off, Nick and Brendan are joined by Jay Amer, the Executive Director of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (of which the Trillium Network is a member) and Chris King, the CEO of the Quinte Economic Development Commission. 

The first half of the episode focuses on the competitive advantages associated with the ‘not Toronto’ parts of Ontario, in this case parts east. More specifically, it focuses on eastern Ontario’s business attraction and retention strategies, and on economic developer’s efforts related to workforce development. 

The second half of the episode focuses on Jay and Chris’ thoughts on the availability of industrial land in Ontario, a subject on which the Trillium Network has written extensively. The discussion here emphasizes the importance of industrial land. Jay and Chris explain to Nick and Brendan how investing in employment lands without a guaranteed return (i.e. a new factory) is one of the most pressing issues related to the availability of industrial land.

00:00 – 03:01 – Intro
03:02 – 04:12 – Meeting our guest
04:13 – 09:00 – Learning about Ontario East – Manufacturing is a BIG deal
09:01 – 12:15 – Business attraction & retention – a tactical discussion
12:16 – 18:34 – The Talent Identification Support Program (TISP) and workforce development in Ontario East
18:35 – 23:11 – Discussing solutions for workforce development – ‘We need to raise awareness!’
23:12 – 25:01 – The advantages of living and working in ‘Not-the-GTA’
25:02 – 26:54 – Brendan gives a review of Trillium’s Land-Use report
26:55 – 32:55 – What is ‘Employable Land’ and how/why is Ontario running out of it?
32:56 – 35:13 – A magic wand isn’t enough to fix these issues
35:14 – 36:43 – Brendan asks a hypothetical question: “…Is there even a labour shed for it?”
36:44 – 38:59 – Which companies are Jay and Chris keeping an eye on?
38:59 – 39:53 – Saying goodbye and an event in September

Ontario East Economic Development Commission
Quinte Economic Development Commission