Employment, education and income are intricately linked. Education “increases opportunities for job and income security, and job satisfaction.” A community whose residents have the education and necessary skills to meet the current, future and emerging labour force needs is critical to poverty reduction and elimination.
Communities with strong economic foundations, which includes having a diversity of innovative businesses and industries that provide full-time year round employment opportunities that pay a living wage, is a fundamental community asset. Good employment increases the likelihood that people will have a good standard of living to enable them to meet their basic needs of housing, food, clothing, and other essentials. Having an adequate income enables residents to contribute optimally to the economy and improves the tax base so that the City of Kawartha Lake and the County of Haliburton can provide the services residents’ need.
Changes in the nature of employment have led to the growth of precarious employment where people are employed in menial, unstable, low paying jobs or employed in jobs that provide insufficient or irregular hours of work.
Moving forward to address employment effectively in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County will require several interrelated plans and strategies. Economic development and job creation and employment strategies that focus on creating permanent, year round, well-paying jobs need to be developed on a priority basis.
The responsibility for most of the recommendations lies with the City and County as they will determine the extent of action and in most cases co-ordinate action. The specific departments or individuals that may participate will need to be identified through appropriate processes. The shared responsibility of individuals, community agencies and other levels of government in poverty reduction was a common theme through the development of the initial strategy report and this Action Plan and their contributions and support for all initiatives will be equally vital to the success of this plan.
1. Identify current, emerging and future business opportunities and associated labor force needs.
2. Collaborate with community stakeholders to develop a workforce development and training program based on the identified labor force needs.
3. Develop and implement strategies that target business and industry retention, expansion, attraction and new business/entrepreneurial development that provide sustainable employment that pays a living wage.
4. Offering workshops to Business owners to understand how Living Wage benefits the community in the long run.
5.. Implement a plan that includes the development and improvement of the necessary infrastructure required to meet the current and forecasted business, employment and educational needs including broadband communication services, transportation, and social infrastructure needs.
6. Address the barriers to employment and to continuing education & job skills training opportunities such as childcare, transportation and housing needs.
7. Increase job & life skill readiness programs and employment supports for Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients.