One of Kingston’s Biggest Economic Challenges: A Labour Shortage

When it comes to recovery from the pandemic, there’s a particular challenge that has really come to the forefront this year. All over the community I’m hearing about the difficulties businesses are having in finding new employees. Whether it’s restaurants or retail stores, manufacturing or service industries, there’s a major crunch as businesses need new staff in order to be able to grow and recover. At the same time, people continue to reach out to me regularly looking for employment opportunities for good jobs and quality careers here in Kingston. After such long periods of social isolation to reduce the spread of COVID-19, getting people in our community back to work is so important for mental health and financial well-being.

That’s why one of the top priorities of the Kingston Economic Recovery Team is now looking at how to connect businesses to future employees. We’re looking at a number of different strategies and ideas like micro-credentials to provide fast and lower cost training to give people the right skills and get them plugged into the right job for them. It’s also been great to see business support organizations like Kingston EcDev and the Chamber working alongside employment support organizations like KEYS to help businesses find the right people and help people find the right places to work. Communities across the country are all grappling with the same challenge but I see how Kingston can be a leader with business and labour working side by side to get everybody back on their feet.

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