Ontario Building the Auto Manufacturing Workforce of the Future

New program will introduce students to good-paying careers in growing auto sector

May 30, 2023

Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

MARKHAM —The Ontario government is investing nearly $6 million to support 14 innovative projects to connect the next generation of workers to the province’s growing auto sector.

These projects, part of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network’s Regional Future Workforce (RFW) program, will introduce students to opportunities in the auto sector and help them develop the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs after graduation.

“As we continue to grow Ontario’s auto supply chain, it’s important that we empower students and connect them with exciting opportunities in the sector,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We’re attracting billions of dollars worth of investment from companies worldwide that will create thousands of new jobs.”

The RFW program aims to bridge the gap between students, of all ages, and the auto industry, while also focusing on reducing the stigma associated with careers in the skilled trades.

Non-profit organizations, school boards and post-secondary institutions will receive up to $500,000 each to lead eight-month-long automotive-focused programs to at least 500 students. Each program is designed to address the unique needs of the region and the ages of the students. Programs can range from play-based learning for young children, to manufacturing, robotics, and mining workshops for older students.

The 14 projects will be led by:

  • Actua
  • Georgian College
  • K2i Academy, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University
  • Lambton College
  • Laurentian University
  • Mathstronauts
  • Mohawk College, Marshall School of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship
  • Ontario Council for Technology Education
  • Ontario Tech University
  • St. Clair College
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Ottawa, Kanata North
  • University of Toronto, Scarborough
  • University of Waterloo

“Careers in Ontario’s auto sector offer life-changing opportunities, with good pay, pensions and benefits,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government will continue to invest in innovative projects that help workers and jobseekers get the skills they need to land better jobs with bigger paycheques in the auto industry.”

Over the last two and a half years, Ontario has attracted over $25 billion in automotive and electric vehicle battery related investments, including a $7 billion investment from Volkswagen to build their first overseas EV battery manufacturing facility in St. Thomas.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is an Ontario government initiative to accelerate the development, testing, commercialization and deployment of the next generation of electric, connected, and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies. The initiative is led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation with support from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
  • Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly supports approximately 100,000 jobs in Ontario, as well as hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs. Ontario’s auto supply chain comprises over 700 parts firms, over 500 tool, die and mold makers, and over 300 connected and autonomous companies.
  • Through the Skills Development Fund, Ontario is investing more than $4.7 million to support two innovative projects to help over 360 people land full-time jobs in the auto manufacturing sector. These free programs will provide participants with skills for careers in machine operation, assembly, quality control and logistics while also preparing automotive technicians and those interested in the industry for work in the emerging electric vehicle field.


“As we continue to strengthen Ontario’s position as a global leader in the automotive sector, the Regional Future Workforce program is critical to ensuring we have the skilled workers needed to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

– Caroline Mulroney
Minister of Transportation

“By investing in our workforce, we are driving innovation in the automotive sector and securing Ontario’s position as a leader in the industry. Strategic investments like the OVIN’s Regional Future Workforce program will empower the next generation with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed.”

– Paul Calandra
Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham—Stouffville

“Investing in our future means investing in our students. Through the Regional Future Workforce program, Ontario is paving the way for the next generation to unlock their potential in the thriving automotive sector. The automotive sector offers not just jobs, but lifelong passions and the chance to shape our future.”

– Logan Kanapathi
Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham—Thornhill

“This $6 million investment demonstrates the provincial government’s commitment to grow the province’s auto supply chain. It will also inject new blood with the necessary skills to meet the needs of the industry.”

– Billy Pang
Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham—Unionville

“OCI is grateful for the support from the Government of Ontario. The three core elements that make the Regional Future Workforce program stand out are its regional reach, the inclusion of equity-deserving groups, and the reach across multiple audience segments.”

– Claudia Krywiak
President and CEO, Ontario Centre of Innovation

“Ontario has emerged on the global stage as the jurisdiction that will usher in the future of the automotive sector as it transitions through electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility solutions. The Regional Future Workforce program is another great example of Government of Ontario’s commitment to ensuring that we have a highly skilled and diverse workforce across the province to power this industry for years to come.”

– Raed Kadri
Head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network, Ontario Centre of Innovation

Additional Resources

Related Topics

Business and Economy

Information about Ontario’s economy and how to do business here. Includes economic development opportunities, research funding, tax credits for business and the Ontario Budget. Learn more

Education and Training

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Jobs and Employment

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Media Contacts

Vanessa De Matteis
Minister’s Office

Kwok Wong
Communications Branch