The labour force in Middlesex County is highly skilled and productive. Nearly 16 percent of the County’s labour force works in the manufacturing sector. This represents nearly 7,000 of the approximately 44,500 workers that make up Middlesex County’s workforce. In the MiddlesexLondon commuting region, 34,600 people are employed in manufacturing. For this 440,000 person region, this represents almost 14 percent of the nearly 251,000 people who make up the regional workforce.
Many of these Middlesex County manufacturers work in the North American automotive sector as part of a vast manufacturing ‘belt’ in Southern Ontario that stretches from Oshawa in the east to Windsor in the west. Ontario’s 350 automotive parts manufacturers represent $19 billion in exports annually. Five of the world’s top automakers have substantial operations in Ontario, producing more than two million vehicles a year of which 85 percent are exported. More than 90,000 skilled workers are employed in the automotive sector in Ontario.
Middlesex County’s manufacturing sector is entrepreneurially driven. Local business owners founded many of the Middlesex manufacturing operations. A skilled local workforce, combined with access to multiple post-secondary institutions, superior road, rail and air transportation infrastructure, lower business costs and an exemplary quality of life are all part of the formula that has contributed to the success of Middlesex County’s manufacturers.
“There’s something to be said for rural, small-town workers. It’s a very dedicated and passionate workforce and they think longer term. They want to stick around. Our business is very specialized, including about 1/3 involved in administration, and we have found little problem filling any positions from the workforce of Middlesex County,” says Karl Pfister, President of Armatec Survivability.
Those comments are echoed by Armo Tools CEO Ben Whitney, the third generation of his family to run the up-and-coming manufacturing solutions company.
“We’re looking for people who have mechanical aptitude and I think younger people from an urban setting don’t get the chance to take things apart and put them back together very much like a lot of young people who grow up on a farm or even in a small rural community,” says Armo Tools CEO Ben Whitney.
Middlesex County is bisected by the largest, busiest highway in Canada, Highway 401, which connects many of Ontario’s large urban centres to each other, as well as to the United States. Highway 402 is another significant road route and also connects Middlesex County to the U.S. In addition to these major highways, there are rail lines running through the County, as well as an International airport, close to the County line in London.
The approachability and responsiveness of the Middlesex County government is attractive for companies and investors alike.
“It’s important to have an active and engaged municipality that wants to grow and wants to be active. It makes life so much easier for companies. Plus the lower costs of land and energy costs brought us to the decision to locate in Dorchester.
It was just the visionary, forward-thinking nature of everyone in the municipality. They want to make things happen here, and so do we,” says Pfister.
Whitney also references the unparalleled quality of life in Middlesex County, highlighting the slower pace, the fresh air, natural amenities, as well as access to excellent schools, medical facilities and retail opportunities in the more urbanized parts of the County.
“I have lived in Toronto. I have lived in Hamilton, and I wouldn’t trade my nice, quiet 10-minute commute to work for anything. Why would you sign up for a job that involves you driving for an hour or more every day? That sort of thinking is not part of the culture around here.” says Whitney.
A world-class research school, Western University, and a top community college, Fanshawe, are both located within nearby London, meaning a highly-skilled and well-trained workforce is easy to access.
REASONS TO INVEST IN MIDDLESEX
- Dedicated, skilled and educated workforce
- Progressive municipalities
- Rural lifestyle with easy access to urban amenities
- Proximity to world-class research and training
- Leading-edge telecommunications and Internet service
- Close to London International Airport
- Easy access to major transportation routes and markets
- Searching for available land and buildings is easy with the available properties database at: www.investinmiddlesex.ca available-property