Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lack of workers?

From AM800 News:
Ontario is being urged to go after a new Volkswagen assembly plant. The German automaker is searching North America for a site for a new plant. But, Windsor-Essex is not considered a possibility. Development commission C-E-O Matt Fischer says there's a lack of available workers.
Somehow, I don't think that's the defining issue in this situation. When previous non-Big 3 plants have had job fairs, the applications have numbered in the tens of thousands, regardless of location.

Quick - name the new automotive assembly plants built in Ontario in the last ten years that have been located anywhere near traditional union cities like Windsor or Oshawa. Stumped? How about zero?

Regardless of the 1000 pound union gorilla in the room everyone refuses to talk about, Windsor's future does not and should not rely on trying to attract automotive assembly plants to the city. The Big 3 aren't building and the rest aren't interested, no matter what the incentive.

R and D and sports tourism are two bright spots in our foreseeable future. In addition, former Mayor John Millson has the right idea in matching manufacturing needs out west with excess capacity here in Ontario. Saskatchewan just announced their budget with huge increases in infrastructure spending. There are opportunities there that allow us to send finished product out west instead of skilled labour.