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'It’s the talk of the town': Here’s what you need to know to enter the EV auto sector

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Workforce Windsor-Essex has launched a website specifically designed to outline skills required to get into the electric vehicle industry.

It was launched Thursday at Unifor local 195’s Action Centre, created when Syncreon closed — putting more than 200 people out of work.

One of them is Linda Poho, who is now working at the Action Centre helping her former colleagues find new jobs.

“I think the fears more is the transition,” Poho said. “I think people are excited about this transition. But you know, when there's something new, there's always a fear and we just have to adjust.”

She’s eager to start using Workforce WindsorEssex’s new “EV Career Pathways Guide.”

“Workforce WindsorEssex’s new EV Career Pathways Resource is a game-changer,” Stephen MacKenzie, president and CEO, Invest WindsorEssex said in a news release.

“With many local partners at the table, this report will inform talent initiatives across the region. Together, we’ll drive innovation and sustain economic prosperity in Windsor-Essex.”

The interactive tool is broken into five separate jobs in the EV auto sector: scientific research, manufacturing, maintenance, design and development and infrastructure.

Each one of those offer subcategories, guiding a prospective employee to the job and skill requirements to land the role.

“So for example, in manufacturing there are eight (positions) and one is traditional vehicle assembler, and then it suggests up to three electric vehicle sector careers that they would have a directly transferable skill set to go into,” said Corey Shenken, special projects lead for Workforce WindsorEssex.

He concedes some automotive manufacturing jobs will be lost due to electrification, but he adds he’s confident many people will be able to transition.

“We need individuals with that traditional manufacturing skill-set to be able to be upskilled to take these more technological roles,” said Shenken.

Invited to Thursdays launch were various employment agencies, including Women’s Enterprise Skills Training (WEST).

“It’s (the EV sector) the talk of the town,” Rose Anguiano Hurst told CTV News.

She’s looking forward to using the website to assist their newly-graduated clients from the skilled trades program.

“We've already trained 358 women so those will be people that will be looking for jobs for sure,”  Anguiano Hurst said.

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