Local News

Ontario Government Appoints Dave Cassidy as Skilled Trades Special Advisor

TORONTO — In a significant move to address the burgeoning demand for skilled trades in Ontario, the provincial government has appointed Dave Cassidy, former President of Unifor Local 444, as the Skilled Trades Special Advisor (STSA) to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. Cassidy’s appointment is aimed at assessing and fortifying the workforce in key sectors such as manufacturing and automotive, with a particular focus on electric vehicles (EV).

The appointment comes at a crucial time as Ontario’s manufacturing and automotive sectors experience rapid growth. The province anticipates needing over 500,000 additional skilled trades workers over the next decade to support this expansion.

“Ontario’s future is bright and skilled trades workers are a vital part of that future,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government has attracted $43 billion in investments in advanced manufacturing, including automakers and EVs. As these sectors grow, we need to prepare our skilled trades workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and that begins with finding out where those jobs are and how we can build a talent pathway to fill them.”

Key Responsibilities and Strategic Goals

Cassidy’s role as STSA will involve a comprehensive evaluation of the workforce needs in the skilled trades. He will engage in robust stakeholder consultations to identify current issues and areas for improvement within Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system. This will include providing expert advice to ensure that Ontario is well-positioned to respond to sectoral growth and the increasing demand for skilled workers.

“As our province continues to grow and attract new investments, we will need more skilled workers to support these growing industries,” said Cassidy. “Not only will these workers help to build Ontario, but they will build a better future for themselves and their families. That is why I am thrilled to be working alongside Minister Piccini to ensure that Ontario’s workforce is ready to support the jobs of tomorrow.”

Dave Cassidy’s Expertise

Cassidy is uniquely qualified for his new role, having been a member of Unifor’s National Executive Board since the organization’s founding and elected to the National Skilled Trades Council as a Trustee in 2005. He started his apprenticeship as an electrician right out of high school and was hired by Chrysler Canada in 1993. Over the years, Dave Cassidy has been elected to various positions, including shop floor steward and skilled trades chairperson at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant.

Ontario’s Investment in Skilled Trades

Through Ontario’s Skilled Trades Strategy, the government has invested over $1.5 billion in the skilled trades since 2020. These investments are part of the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, train, and protect workers, making Ontario the best place to work, live, and raise a family.

Future Outlook

The appointment of Dave Cassidy as STSA highlights the government’s commitment to building a strong, skilled workforce capable of supporting Ontario’s ambitious infrastructure and economic development plans. From constructing roads, schools, and hospitals to supporting advanced manufacturing and EV production, the role of skilled trades workers is more critical than ever.

With Cassidy’s leadership and expertise, Ontario aims to create a sustainable pathway for skilled trades, ensuring that the province remains competitive and well-equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

For GTA Today, this is a significant step towards securing a robust economic future for Ontario, underpinned by a highly skilled and adaptable workforce.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at samantha.deschamps@gtaweekly.ca.

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