May 23, 2018

Economic prosperity report emphasizes collaboration, continued progress on growing Oxford’s labour strategy

Report offers a framework to help achieve the “economy” goals of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan

A new report focusing on the economic goals of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan shows that Oxford’s economic partners are making “tremendous impact” on the community’s future outlook through programs that foster collaboration, plan for the labour market, attract skilled talent to the area, and reduce barriers to employment.

Working together to build a stronger workforce & grow economic prosperity in Oxford is the result of an extensive, collaborative analysis by community agencies, municipal and government partners, service providers, education employment partners, and more than 300 employers who participated in focus groups, planning sessions and surveys to identify priority action items that will ensure a vibrant economy into the future.

Results from the community consultation revealed that Oxford has a strong and innovative economic sector, with local initiatives receiving regional, provincial and national recognition. The final economy report offers a convergence of multiple ongoing initiatives, including the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan, the Oxford Labour Force Development Strategy and the Oxford Newcomer Attraction Strategy. The report also shows how these activities align to the “economy” aims of the Future Oxford Sustainability Plan, for instance:

  • “Building a vibrant economy” through community collaboration. This is the fundamental role of the Oxford Workforce Development Partnership and the Local Employment Planning Council, which have been responsible for bringing together all local and regional workforce initiatives that support our local economy;
  • “Supporting companies that process Oxford-based agricultural products,” which is being realized through new priorities by the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation;
  • “Cultivating entrepreneurship” through programs like the Oxford Young Entrepreneurs offered by Community Futures Oxford and newcomer mentorship through the Oxford Local Immigration Partnership;
  • “Growing the sustainable economy” through sustainability-related jobs, which is being supported through the Work in Oxford web portal, access to Oxford Community Employment Services across the County, and the Oxford Workforce Development Partnership’s Labour Force Strategy.

Stakeholder consultation for “Working together to build a stronger workforce & grow economic prosperity in Oxford” kicked off one year ago on May 22, 2017, with a planning workshop held by the Oxford Workforce Development Partnership, the Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC), Community Employment Services, and Future Oxford’s Economy Oxford sub-committee. Work on improving Oxford’s economic outlook has been ongoing for much longer, however, through initiatives by the LEPC, economic development agencies, education employment partners, local employers, and other organizations working towards economic sustainability.

To read the report, visit or visit  



Jeff Surridge, CEO, Community Employment Services and Co-Chair, Economy Oxford

“What sets apart Working together to build a stronger workforce & grow economic prosperity in Oxford from other, similar past reports is the breadth of the consultation behind it, and the recognition that economic growth and development is also linked to environmental stewardship and community wellbeing. This expanded notion of economic vibrancy is the thread that ties together the work of our many diverse partners.”

Debra Mountenay, Executive Director, Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board / Local Employment Planning Council

The Oxford Workforce Development Partnership has been recognized for its collaborative nature in addressing workforce issues. The Partnership was featured as part of a study through Guelph University that focused on successful rural initiatives and was asked to participate on a panel highlighting examples of successful workforce initiatives at this year's Economic Developers Council of Ontario Conference.”

Natalie Surridge, Program Director, Oxford Workforce Development Partnership

“The report’s analysis demonstrates the tremendous level of impact already underway in Oxford, while at the same time serving as an acknowledgement that there are still significant issues facing our community that must be addressed. With Oxford already recognized as a leader in community development, we know we have the ability to mobilize broad-based coalitions to continue to address these challenges.”

Randy Peltz, Chair, Future Oxford

“Oxford County has long demonstrated a unique commitment to, and success in, using community collaboration to build economic opportunity. This report showcases the significant work that is happening-- and has been happening-- in our area, along with a detailed roadmap to direct us along our path towards greater economic sustainability.”


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About Future Oxford

TheFuture Oxford Community Sustainability Plancreates a vision of a sustainable community that balances community, environmental and economic interests. The Plan sets out 70 distinct actions that willachieve specific goals and targets for Oxford's future. As a partnership organization, Future Oxford is the group of volunteers andpartnerswho are taking responsibility for achieving those actions. Read the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan | Watch the video



Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement

519-539-9800, ext. 3503 |