Municipalities across Eastern Ontario are working together through the OE-TISP program
For the last three years, the Ontario East Talent Identification Support Project (OE-TISP), delivered by the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (Ontario East) and funded through the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, has been bringing both talent and industry investments to Eastern Ontario.
Alysha Dominico, the program’s workforce development project coordinator, has been on the front lines during that time, making connections for Ontario East that were unheard of before thanks to the ecosystem the Ontario East Economic Development Commission has built.
“We have partnerships with more than 40 organizations and businesses involved in workforce development, and my role is to wrap my arms around the region and bring everybody together,” said Dominico. “I find out who’s doing what, invite them along, and give them space to collaborate.”
That means Ontario East members like municipalities, industrial associations, and education consortiums — groups who used to work in isolation — are solving problems and sharing solutions that affect the entire region. “I can see the connections and make introductions so the sparks can start happening, “ said Dominico. “It’s how you get big ideas off the ground.”
Dominico says this approach is lovingly known as “rob and duplicate”, which is R&D for the public sector. “What’s good for Renfrew is good for Peterborough,” she said, especially when it comes to filling the talent pipeline.
Eastern Ontario businesses have already benefited from the program’s work, like window-maker Beclawat Manufacturing Inc.
“The service Alysha provided was very proactive,” said Shayla Martin, human resources and health and safety manager. “She was invaluable from the first interaction about our job posting, to staying in touch with us regarding candidates, and even going above and beyond to put us in contact with more resources in the community.” The result? A successful hire through their LinkedIn posting.
Building bridges across the province
One of the key groups Dominico works with is Skills Ontario, a provincial non-profit organization funded by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Skills Development.
“We promote careers in skilled trades and technologies to youth, working with every school board across the province, and every college across the province — English, French, you name it,” said Dan Cardinal, senior provincial engagement coordinator. “We have all kinds of programs for young women in trades and other initiatives to support diversity, inclusion and equity.”
Together, they’re tackling the need to bring more youth into the skilled trades due to the region’s ever-increasing demand for talent in that sector. “Alysha has given me opportunities to speak to different economic development offices across the region in Eastern Ontario,” said Cardinal. “The partnerships have been phenomenal.”