Organizational Transformation to Actively Respond to Niagara’s Changing Workforce

A new name, a new logo and an expanded approach to meet Niagara’s changing workforce.

The evolution may have taken years to prepare, but it became official this week as the Niagara Workforce Planning Board changed its name to Workforce Collective.

When the pandemic hit, it accelerated the changes anticipated in the world of work, and it quickly became clear that the old ways “were not working for us anymore,” said Rachel Crane, head of learning and collective commitment.

The planning council, which has been in Niagara for approximately 25 years, was widely known for its data collection and analysis of the labor market, workforce development and planning. It has been and will remain a big part of the organization, but over the past five years the team has focused on facilitating action, including through initiatives related to workplace equity. , workplace wellness, newcomer employment strategies and more. .

The collective will continue to provide market data by hosting the planning council – one of 25 councils that make up the Workforce Planning Ontario network – but the new name and rebrand emphasizes organizational adjustments to a changing landscape.

“Our big work is around immigrant employment and changing the job search system for newcomers and immigrants in our area,” Crane said. “It was something that in our old brand, people just didn’t know we had…because they really saw us as data analysts and not necessarily people who take action to solve the problems seen in the data.”

The new branding will highlight some of his other work, such as project evaluations and impact assessments, which is important for success in community projects focused on workforce development and innovation.

Crane said the collective conducted an economic impact assessment for Brock University, looking at the monetary value of its research efforts and student workforce.

“We can do this for anyone in the community…especially when it comes to workforce development. If they are involved in job review, job modification and labor support, then come talk to us.

Many of the struggles the workforce is currently facing, such as demographic dynamics and the retirement of baby boomers, are issues it has seen coming “for decades,” Crane said. Now that the data is available worldwide, it’s all about collectively determining what to do with that information.

As an organization, its job is to look at the inequities and workforce challenges revealed by the pandemic, but Crane said there has been a new openness and awareness among employers to understand the importance of workforce development and sustainability.

“They really need you for the bottom line of their business and for their ability to survive. So it’s now moved higher up on the priority list,” she said. “We look forward to being very busy, to help the community understand this – how to attract, retain and engage the workforce in a meaningful way so that our community can thrive.”

Workforce Collective, a nonprofit that addresses workforce challenges and opportunities through research, data and collaboration, officially launched on Tuesday.

Aubrey L. Morgan