‘There’s a lot of opportunity in the region right now,’ but do we have the labour pool to support it?


city_scope_logo-cmykWith two area employers seeking more than 3,500 workers, at first glance, it would appear to be a rosy picture for job seekers in St. Thomas, Elgin county and neighbouring municipalities.
More so in light of two years of economic fallout related to the pandemic.
But there are other factors at play when you consider employers here and across the province are coping with a labour shortage.
We talked this week with Sean Dyke, CEO of St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation to ascertain the impact this will have on smaller firms already hunting for employees.
How easy will it be to find 2,000 or so employees for the Amazon fulfillment centre north of Talbotville plus 1,500 workers for the Maple Leaf Foods plant in south London, both opening next year?
“I do think they will be able to draw from a wide range of areas in the surrounding region,” suggested Dyke.

Continue reading

SW Ontario lagging behind in job creation, income growth, warns economist


city_scope_logo-cmykA sobering report released this week that brings into perspective the impact manufacturing’s decline has had on southwestern Ontario’s median household income through 2015 (the last year of available census data).
The report’s author Ben Eisen, a senior fellow with the Fraser Institute, notes Windsor falls from 10th highest median household income to 25th while London falls from 15th to 27th (out of 36 Canadian metropolitan centres).
St. Thomas is included in the London Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and so the report has important local relevance.
Eisen’s work covers the period between 2005 and 2015 and so it is a look back in time and the next census in 2021 may give a clearer picture of where we are today.

Continue reading

A key to success … supply-chain management


The fact that a number of companies (such as Wal-Mart, Zara, Dell and Toyota) have managed to record extraordinary success while doing quite ordinary things (such as running supermarkets, selling clothes or making computers or cars) has made managers more fully aware that what their organisations produce can matter a lot less than the way that they produce it. This holds true even in an age when the product life cycle is getting shorter and shorter, and more emphasis is being placed on technological product innovation as a means to add value.
Central to the way that companies produce things is the way that they manage their supply chains—the collection and distribution of all the inputs to the production process. Some companies take this to extremes. For example, Olam, a Singapore-based commodities trader, says that in practice it is “in the business of supply-chain management”. It undertakes all the processes involved in getting soft commodities such as cocoa and coffee from the grower’s farm to the factories of Olam customers such as Sara Lee. Its competitive advantage lies in the superiority of its processes, not its commodities.
Full story