COVID-19 And Workforce
A Special Message from the EMOWPDB
COVID-19 has changed the way we live and the way we work. Now more than ever we are dedicated to our mission of co-ordination, and are keeping a close eye on the impact COVID-19 is currently having, and will continue to have, on workforce issues. Many organizations are creating resources and reliefs, and we will be acting as a source to direct all our stakeholders to the help they need.

While our physical offices are closed, the EMOWPDB team is still hard at work, and we encourage you to get in touch with us at
Job Seekers
Those looking for work are at risk for suffering significant setbacks during this time. While it is too early to know exact numbers or impact, there may be an increase in those who are discouraged from a labour market ravaged by layoffs and closed offices.

What we are seeing on our job board, however, are a variety of positions matching the keywords "work from home" and "remote work". We encourage those businesses with open positions to move to a virtual hiring and orientation process (see Business section below for more), and for job seekers to continue their search. This can also be a great opportunity for job seekers who have disabilities to match with employers who have retooled positions to be viable for remote work.

Resources and programs:
  • We encourage job seekers to use our map to get connected to an employment service provider, and find out if they are taking virtual appointments.
  • CERIC has a series of FREE webinars on retooling your job search during this difficult time
  • Our counter-part in Windsor-Essex has a portal with online learning resources for learners of at all stages.
While this time has yielded unprecedented challenges for local businesses, we regard with exceptional admiration the businesses who are adapting by retooling jobs, retooling their facilities or shifting operations when possible.
We encourage those businesses who have sustained a need for employees to move to a virtual hiring and orientation process (see below for resources).

Resources and programs:
In addition to the financial strain that comes with layoffs, a break from work means workers who rely on consistency and routine may lack motivation to return to an employer in the future.
Essential workers who are still reporting to their physical workplace may experience a higher level of stress, as they suddenly find themselves in a position with new risk factors to manage.
Virtual workers may also be encountering challenges, as they may find themselves having to adapt to new technologies and workflow.

Resources and programs:
Service Providers
The reality of job seeking and service provision has changed rapidly in a short span of time. Thanks to online tools and quick thinking, many service providers are preserving service continuity virtually. However, this is a challenge that isn't taken lightly, and front-line service providers should be mindful of theirs and their employees' wellness during this time.

Resources and programs:
  • CERIC has a series of FREE webinars on working with clients during this difficult time
  • CERIC also has a list of resources concerning or useful to career professionals
  • Literacy Link South Central has a list of online resources for adult literacy providers, with a featured report on mental health for adult literacy facilitators
  • Community Literacy of Ontario has a whole series of modules about using social media to stay in touch with your target audience and also market your program or service. 

In this trying time, we are dedicated to continuing to provide a community-minded approach to issues as they evolve. Our inboxes are open, please get in touch if you have any questions, concerns or comments by replying to this e-mail or visiting our website.
the EMOWPDB Team
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The views expressed in this publication are the views of the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province of Ontario.