By Jennifer Meek, Director of Marketing at Charlotte Products Ltd.

At Charlotte Products, we are always looking for ways to support our industry and our local community. When the opportunity to partner with Northern and Eastern Ontario’s Junior Achievement (JA-NEO) program arose, we were thrilled to be able to support not only a wonderful local nonprofit, but to invest in the future of our industry and our children.

JA-NEO is a nonprofit that inspires and prepares youth to succeed by providing them with opportunities to learn financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness skills. In 2018-19 school year, more than 6,000 students from across Northern and Eastern Ontario participated in programs. Volunteers from the staff at Charlotte Products will be mentoring students for a future in the manufacturing industry.

We believe this is an important opportunity to mentor local youth about the many opportunities a future in manufacturing could present. The trades are facing a severe shortage and manufacturing is a large sector of the trades industry. It’s also the cornerstone of the Canadian economy. We believe that there is a labor shortage for critical manufacturing jobs because of a lack of education about the benefits of a manufacturing career. 

Recruiting young talent to this vital industry is about education and mentoring on an individual basis to show the opportunities available to them in real time. Many people don’t realize how many exciting and engaging opportunities are available in the manufacturing industry. There are many jobs on the production line and in operations roles. But there are also opportunities for those looking for more creative careers in marketing departments or on research and development teams. 

Personally, I look forward to working with young people to teach them that in the manufacturing industry, we don’t just make the products, we create them!

Manufacturing is an exciting, innovative industry where technology is always ahead of the curve. From AI, virtual, augmented reality and 3-D printing, a career in manufacturing means being a part of the most cutting-edge technological advancements. There’s no limit to where this industry could grow from here. We hope to bring more opportunities to the youth of Ontario to learn about an exciting future in manufacturing.

Don’t take our word for it. Listen to our own Product and Inventory Manager David Jones make the case for a manufacturing career.

JA-NEO programs help to transform students and give them the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in school, business, and life. In partnership with dedicated volunteers, the program prepares students to succeed in their life ahead, so they are ready for tomorrow’s careers, they can solve tomorrow’s challenges, and they can launch businesses that create tomorrow’s jobs. We’re excited to join the team of mentor volunteers and begin making a difference for Canada’s young people and the future of manufacturing.