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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Niagara Partnership Focuses on Employment in Retail Trade

Please find below a statement from Niagara Workforce Planning Board, Literacy Link Niagara and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) on a new project in support of Niagara’s retail sector.

Media Release – For Immediate Release


Niagara, August 17, 2020 – Niagara Workforce Planning Board, Literacy Link Niagara and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce a new joint project with a spotlight on Niagara’s retail sector.

In 2019, retail trade businesses provided over 25,000 full and part-time jobs, representing nearly 14% of all jobs in Niagara. More than 2,300 of Niagara’s self-employed work in the retail industry.

COVID-19 has created employment disruption in retail, as in all other employment sectors across the region. While some elements of retail trade have, and will continue to, face disruption due to the COVID-19 virus, others may struggle to meet labour demand.

The project aims to have a conversation with both employers, employees, and job-seekers in the retail trade sector to learn the employment-related needs of the new retail environment, given the impacts of COVID-19. We will also consult with local organizations that provide skills development training to identify workforce development opportunities.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MTLSD) as an Ontario Labour Market Partnership (OLMP) project. It is hoped that the research this project generates will be used for a community action plan and for other government policies aimed at assisting in the change brought about COVID-19 and the growth and development of the retail trade industry.


“Literacy Link Niagara is pleased to be a partner in this important project. The retail sector, as in other industry sectors, relies on a skilled and adaptable workforce. Essential skills training is the foundation of higher learning and the key to sustainable employment, during this health crisis and beyond it.”

– Gay Douglas, Co-Executive Director, Literacy Link Niagara;; 905-401-5380

“Retail trade is a key provider of employment in Niagara. By working with both employers and people across our communities, who work in this sector, we aim to provide insight that will help to shape a prosperous future for retail businesses and employees alike.”

– Vivian Kinnaird, CEO, Niagara Workforce Planning Board;; 905.641.0801 x127

“The retail industry, and those who work in it, have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We hope that this research will help produce data-driven policies that will help them recover faster, and to return better than they were before.”

– Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce;; 905-325-6405

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