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Laurentian University Receives Innovation Funding to Grow Awareness in Automotive and Mobility Sector

Provincial funding to implement projects supporting career opportunities in critical sector

(June 1, 2023) - Laurentian University’s Goodman School of Mines has been awarded $448,550 from the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) and the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) to develop activities with local partners for the Regional Future Workforce (RFW) program, which will help introduce students to careers within Ontario’s automotive & mobility sector.

The funds from the RFW program will be used to fund a project called “Electrifying the Future”, which consists of three components:

  • “MineOpportunity: the automotive and mobility edition”
  • Summer Camps
  • Education Campaign

Nicole Tardif, Program Coordinator at the Goodman School of Mines will be coordinating the projects. “We are looking forward to introducing these activities to Northern Ontario. We have such a unique position to support the automotive and mobility sector and are interested in showing off these great career opportunities for students to explore,” said Tardif.

The RFW Program is a pilot program through OVIN designed to encourage students of all ages, across all regions of Ontario, to pursue careers in the automotive and mobility sector. This work will focus on reducing the stigma associated with automotive industry careers and prioritize engagement with students from equity-deserving and underrepresented groups. 

"Electrifying the Future" is a bilingual (English/French) set of projects, supported by the RFW program, that aims to build awareness of post-secondary programs that lead to careers in the electric vehicle supply chain from mineral exploration all the way to the automotive and mobility industry. The project includes  a promotional campaign that will aim to bring awareness to a variety of career options in this industry. 

Two in-person events will also be implemented to provide elementary, high school and postsecondary students interactive experiences. First,  students in grades 7-12 in Northern Ontario will compete in “MineOpportunity: the automotive and mobility edition” (June 7 & 8) at Dynamic Earth. In this game, students work together to become the “wealthiest” team by successfully answering questions, completing challenges and activities about technology, engineering, geosciences, the environment, careers, corporate social responsibility and the automotive and mobility industry.

Second, two weeks of free summer day camps from July 17-21 and July 31-August 4th, 2023 will be offered for students aged 10-14 years.. STEM and non-STEM lessons and activities will be delivered at three locations (Laurentian University, Cambrian College and College Boreal), along with a one-day field trip to key partners in the project:  Epiroc, Technica Mining, and Laurentian Chrysler.

The “Electrifying the Future” program will inspire coming generations to get involved in the industry by stimulating interest in career choices. It will also raise awareness for emerging trends of innovation and technology in the industry, as well as the importance of critical minerals.