NSI and NEXTNiagara team up for sustainability and retaining Niagara’s next workforce generation

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GTA Construction Report staff writer

Niagara Sustainability Initiative (NSI) hosted a collaborative Attracting Emerging Talent event with NEXTNiagara, focusing on retaining the Niagara workforce’s next generation and the role of sustainable practices in achieving the goal.

Two speakers addressed about 40 attendees at the Riverstone Event Centre in Welland on March 19.

Jessica Potts, principal at Inspired Communications and chair of NEXTNiagara, discussed the current youth retention situation in Niagara and its significance. She spoke about the support NEXTNiagara has provided to addressing the issue and identifying key traits of companies that are embracing the emerging workforce.

Among the issues discussed, Potts said efforts had to be made to ensure graduating students recognized the culture, community and other opportunities Niagara has to offer.

She also encouraged employers to “provide opportunities for emerging talent through internships, co-op placements and accessing funding opportunities available” from government sources.”

Julie Matthews, director of sales and marketing at Brookfield Johnson Controls, spoke about the focus on sustainability within her company and how corporate values have assisted in attracting and retaining young professionals.

“The emerging generation of talent seeks organizations with strong values including sustainability, innovation and social consciousness,” Matthews said.

She encouraged employers to seek emerging talent with sustainable backgrounds to support this development within their own companies.

The event also included presentations by Employment Solutions, career development and co-op offices at Brock, Goodman School and Niagara College, Niagara Research and Biolinc. These identified funding, internship and project support opportunities available to local businesses.

NSI will host its third annual Evening of Recognition May 28 at White Oaks Resort.

For more information about NSI, visit http://niagarasustainability.org.

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