NEM 2024 Interview Series: Invest WindsorEssex

As #NEM2024 comes to a close, we’re continuing to feature leaders within the industry. Meet Jessica McCarthy, Talent Attraction Specialist at Invest WindsorEssex, who is dedicated to spotlighting the region’s workforce potential and fostering connections with key stakeholders. With over 7 years of experience in talent acquisition, Jessica is committed to enhancing Windsor-Essex’s reputation as a prime destination for talent and opportunities.

Tell me a bit about yourself & your background.

Greetings, I’m Jessica McCarthy, Talent Attraction Specialist at Invest WindsorEssex. My focus is on spotlighting the workforce potential of our region and fostering robust connections with key stakeholders, both locally and beyond. My goal is to enhance Windsor-Essex’s standing as a prime destination for talent and opportunities. With over 7 years of experience in talent acquisition, I’ve honed my skills through roles at prominent organizations like Air Canada and various Global Recruitment firms.

Why is it important for Invest WindsorEssex to attract more engineers to the area?

Invest WindsorEssex’s focus on attracting more engineers to the area is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, with the Windsor-Essex region projected by the Conference Board of Canada to have one of the strongest and fastest-growing economies in the country, there is a pressing need for skilled professionals to support this growth. The area’s economic momentum is being propelled by significant infrastructure projects like the $6.4 billion Gordie Howe Bridge and investments in industries such as healthcare and energy, including the $2 billion Windsor-Essex Hospitals Systems and the $5 billion NextStar Energy battery plant. These projects require engineering expertise to ensure successful implementation and ongoing operation. Moreover, as Windsor-Essex has long been recognized as a hub for automation and advanced manufacturing in North America, engineers play a critical role in driving innovation and efficiency in these sectors. With additional industries like electric vehicle production, next-generation vehicle R&D, agribusiness (boasting the largest greenhouse cluster in North America), and pharmaceuticals (home to the largest soft gel capsules producer in Canada), the demand for engineering talent spans across various fields. Engineers are essential for developing and optimizing processes, designing new technologies, and maintaining high standards of quality and safety across these industries. Attracting more engineers to Windsor-Essex is vital for supporting its economic growth, driving innovation across key industries, and ensuring the continued success and competitiveness of the region on both a national and international scale.

How does the local engineering ecosystem in Windsor-Essex foster innovation and collaboration among professionals?

The local engineering ecosystem in Windsor-Essex fosters innovation and collaboration among professionals through various conferences and affiliations. One notable event is the Emerging Technologies in Automation Conference and Trade Show, scheduled for October 23, 2024, at Caesars Windsor. This conference brings together international leaders in automation and technology, experts in advanced manufacturing, and supply chain purchasers. It serves as a prime networking opportunity where professionals can exchange ideas, gather inspiration, and collaborate on shaping the future of industry. Additionally, Windsor will host The Engineering Conference 2024, further enhancing opportunities for professionals to engage in collaborative discussions and foster innovation within the engineering community.

Can you highlight some key industries or sectors in Windsor-Essex where engineers can thrive and make a significant impact? Engineers in Windsor-Essex have ample opportunities to thrive across key industries and sectors.

  • EV and Next-Gen Vehicle Production: With the growing emphasis on electric vehicles and next-generation transportation solutions, engineers play a vital role in designing, developing, and optimizing electric vehicles and associated infrastructure. Windsor-Essex, being a hub for automotive manufacturing, offers abundant opportunities for engineers to contribute to this evolving sector.
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Automation: Windsor-Essex boasts a strong presence in advanced manufacturing and automation industries. Engineers in this region can leverage their expertise to innovate and optimize manufacturing processes, implement automation technologies, and drive efficiency and productivity across diverse manufacturing sectors.
  • Agri-Tech: The region’s agricultural sector is increasingly integrating technology and innovation, creating opportunities for engineers to develop cutting-edge solutions in agri-tech.
  • Life Sciences: Windsor-Essex’s growing focus on life sciences presents opportunities for engineers to contribute to research, development, and implementation of technologies in areas such as healthcare, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Large Infrastructure Projects and Civil Engineering: Windsor-Essex is witnessing significant infrastructure development, including transportation networks, renewable energy projects, and urban revitalization initiatives. Civil engineers play a crucial role in planning, designing, and implementing these large-scale projects, contributing to the region’s growth and development.

In your opinion, what are some of the most compelling reasons why engineers should choose Windsor-Essex over other locations for their career growth?

Choosing Windsor-Essex for career growth as an engineer offers several compelling reasons. Firstly, the region is home to thriving industries such as automotive manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, agri-tech, and life sciences. Engineers can work at the forefront of innovation in these sectors, contributing to groundbreaking projects and technologies. Moreover, Windsor-Essex is experiencing a shift towards emerging industries like electric vehicle production, renewable energy, and automation, providing engineers with new and exciting opportunities to lead transformative projects.

The collaborative environment in Windsor-Essex fosters teamwork and innovation, allowing engineers to work on multidisciplinary projects and expand their skill set. Additionally, the region offers a more affordable cost of living compared to larger urban centers, enabling engineers to enjoy a higher standard of living without financial strain. Windsor-Essex boasts a high quality of life with access to natural landscapes, cultural attractions, and recreational activities. Engineers can strike a balance between their professional and personal lives, leading fulfilling lifestyles outside of work. The supportive business community in Windsor-Essex, including industry associations, educational institutions, and government agencies, provides engineers with resources and opportunities for career development, networking, and collaboration. Lastly, the region’s proximity to major markets such as Detroit and Toronto offer engineers access to global business hubs and opportunities for professional advancement.

Overall, engineers choosing Windsor-Essex for their career growth can expect to be part of a dynamic and innovative community, where they can make a meaningful impact while enjoying a high quality of life. Take a look at for an overview of the area and compelling incentives to consider relocating.

Are there any notable engineering projects or initiatives happening in Windsor-Essex that could attract talent from other regions?

Windsor-Essex is emerging as a hotspot for engineering innovation, particularly in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and advanced manufacturing. Major automotive companies are investing in EV production facilities, creating opportunities for engineers in EV technology, battery tech, and advanced manufacturing processes. Additionally, the region’s $5 billion dollar battery plant and exponentially growing EV supply chain provide many unique, high-paying and highly technical job opportunities. Windsor-Essex is a leader in next-generation vehicle production, automation and Industry 4.0 and is home to one of North America’s largest manufacturing sectors, driving demand for engineers skilled in optimizing processes and implementing cutting-edge tech.

Renewable energy projects like wind farms and solar installations are on the rise, requiring expertise in sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy systems. Major infrastructure initiatives, including the Gordie Howe Bridge Project and Highway 3 widening, are underway, providing opportunities for civil engineers and transportation planners to contribute to landmark projects enhancing trade and connectivity. The province also announced $50 million will be invested to build a new interchange at E.C. Row Expressway and Banwell Road in Windsor, near the under-construction electric vehicle battery plant and the soon-to-be-built Windsor-Essex acute-care hospital. Premier Doug Ford’s recent announcement of significant infrastructure investments further solidifies Windsor-Essex’s appeal for engineering talent. These diverse projects underscore Windsor-Essex’s dynamic engineering environment, offering engineers opportunities to work on impactful projects at the forefront of technology and sustainability. With a range of opportunities from EV manufacturing to renewable energy and infrastructure development, Windsor-Essex is not only contributing to economic growth but also attracting talent from other regions.

Can you speak to the quality of life factors that engineers and their families can enjoy by relocating to the Windsor-Essex area?

Relocating to the Windsor-Essex area offers engineers and their families a high quality of life with numerous appealing factors. Firstly, the region boasts a lower cost of living compared to larger urban centers, allowing families to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without financial strain. Windsor-Essex offers affordable housing options, as well as lower commute times and overall living expenses. Windsor-Essex also maintains a strong sense of community and safety, making it an ideal environment for families. The region is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with numerous cultural and recreational activities to enjoy. From exploring natural landscapes such as parks and waterfronts to participating in community events and festivals, there are plenty of opportunities for families to bond and connect with others.

Additionally, the area’s proximity to major cities like Detroit and Toronto provides access to diverse cultural experiences, educational institutions, and employment opportunities while still enjoying a more relaxed pace of life.

How does the cost of living in Windsor-Essex compare to other major engineering hubs, and what advantages does this present for engineers?

The cost of living in Windsor-Essex is generally lower compared to other major engineering hubs, presenting several advantages for engineers. Housing costs, including both purchasing homes and renting apartments, tend to be more affordable in Windsor-Essex compared to cities like Toronto, Vancouver, or San Francisco. Additionally, everyday expenses such as groceries, transportation, and entertainment are typically lower in Windsor-Essex.

How do you envision the future of engineering in Windsor-Essex, and what opportunities do you see emerging for professionals in this field?

The future of engineering in Windsor-Essex looks promising, with the region poised to emerge as a leader in next-generation vehicle production, innovation and technology, and life sciences. Windsor-Essex is already an established industry leader in agribusiness and greenhouse technology, providing numerous opportunities for engineering professionals to innovate and contribute to these sectors. Home to the University of Windsor and St. Clair College, Windsor-Essex boasts exceptional engineering programs that are constantly growing and evolving. These programs are rated as some of the best in the country, offering students a high-quality education and preparing them for successful careers in engineering.

Additionally, these institutions foster collaboration projects with industry, providing students with valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities. For engineering professionals, both young graduates and seasoned experts, Windsor-Essex offers ample opportunities to advance their careers. The region’s growing presence in next-gen vehicle production, innovation, and life sciences presents exciting prospects for professionals to work on cutting-edge projects and contribute to groundbreaking advancements in their field. The future of engineering in Windsor-Essex is bright, with opportunities for professionals to thrive and make significant contributions to the region’s continued growth and innovation.

Learn. Grow. Thrive. Together. 

National Engineering Month is Ontario’s platform for celebrating the remarkable world of engineering. With a dynamic mix of insightful discussions, industry expertise, and diverse viewpoints, we’re showcasing the best of the profession. Join us in advancing engineering excellence, igniting interest in future professionals, and recognizing the vital role engineers play in society. Be a part of the #NEM2024 experience by attending an event. Explore all the exciting details at

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