Ontario invests in Lambton College to support the development of a future technology focused workforce
SARNIA, December 4, 2023 – Lambton College is thrilled to lead one of the 14 projects funded by the Ontario Government as part of Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network’s (OVIN) Regional Future Workforce (RFW) program. Lambton’s Research and Innovation Department was awarded over $480,000 to support the “eBits for Everyone – Supporting EV and eMobility Awareness and Knowledge Development” project.
“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 goal of the “eBits for Everyone” project is to utilize the College’s free eBits platform to promote public and youth engagement in science and technology, electronic vehicle and mobility-related topics, while providing resources to educators for supporting hands-on learning. The eBits are designed to support young learners with groups of modules targeting grades 5 to 6, 7 to 9, and 10 to12. With the e-learning and hands-on modules mapped to the Ontario student curriculum, the project supports learners, parents, and educators in preparing the next generation of workforce.
Since July, Lambton has launched 60 Empowering Minds eBits. The topics for these eBits have been selected to help students develop both the soft skills and technical knowledge required to enter Ontario’s current and future technology-based industries. At the completion of each eBit, learners are awarded a personalized certificate of completion. The Empowering Minds eBits are grouped into 11 categories, including Education and Careers, Energy and Environment, and Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Learners who complete all the eBits within a category are eligible to receive a digital badge.
Since their release, these new eBits have been introduced through in person sessions to over 1,400 youth and educators, and received well over 800 individual registrations.
"Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government will continue to invest in cutting-edge training programs to prepare the next generation for the future of work,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “We’re proud to give young people a hand up to the training and skills they need to land well-paying careers in the auto industry."
Lambton's application to RFW program received letters of support from the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) and St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB), not-for-profit community organizations including Contact North | Contact Nord, and technology companies such as e-Zinc, QED Battery Corp, and TROES Corp. The tailoring of content to the growth and needs of Ontario has been supported by public, not-for-profit and private contributions including Railway Association of Canada, Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), Ontario Genomics, YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, Proventus Global, and ChargerQuest. Through these partnerships encompassing the support skills necessary to navigate the new technology-focused economy in Ontario and the companies driving the future of Ontario’s automotive manufacturing industry, Lambton College is pleased to be part of shaping the next generation workforce.
About Lambton College’s eBits for Everyone Project
Lambton College’s eBits are free, non-credit mini-courses available to everyone. Each eBit focuses on a specific skill or competency and takes about an hour to complete. Youth, parents and educators can access the Empowering Minds eBits at lambtoncollege.ca/empoweringminds.
About OVIN and The Regional Future Workforce Program
The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is an Ontario government initiative, led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), which is driving innovation and collaboration in the automotive and mobility sector to build safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation. The Regional Future Workforce Program (RFW Program) is an initiative introduced by OVIN to support the development of a highly skilled workforce in automotive and mobility. The RFW Program is allocating over $6 million to 14 projects carried out by Ontario non-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions, and school boards to deliver automotive and mobility-focused programs connecting students from kindergarten to post-secondary to the sector. The program aims to create a robust talent pipeline and ensure Ontario remains a leader in the rapidly evolving automotive industry.
“The OVIN initiative is a key component of preparing Ontario residents for the jobs of tomorrow in the EV industry. As one of the top applied research colleges in North America, Lambton College is the perfect partner for the Ontario government to team with to deliver the exciting eBits for Everyone program.” – Bob Bailey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton
"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
"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
Learn more about Research & Innovation at Lambton College.