Focus Group

The Apprenticeship Focus Group brings together employers and employer associations, labour unions, educators, government, employment service providers, and other apprenticeship stakeholders in Northwestern Ontario. The Group works to build an evidence-based understanding of apprenticeship issues in the region, and launch strategies to address these issues.

Focus Group members bring decades of experience with the trades and Ontario's apprenticeship systems to the table. See below for current membership.

Meeting Minutes Archive
Lana Bullough
Speaker, Facilitator, Coach, Consultant
Safe Stress
Claude Camirand
Ecole secondaire catholique de la verendrye
Candace Campbell
Superior North Adult Learning Association
Michelle Crow
Skills Ontario
Jim Dyson
Confederation College
Mel Gionet
Superior North Adult Learning Association
Shauna Grouette
Superior Greenstone District School Board
Patty Habl-Gregory
Northwest Employment Works
John Kelly
Operating Engineers – Local 793
Harold Lindstrom
Construction Association of Thunder Bay
Rob Murphy
Thunder Bay Catholic School Board
Andy Nieweglowski
Employment Integration Service Officer
KKETs Training & Employment Services
Jeremy Noel
Lakehead Public Schools / OYAP
Evan Reid
Carpenter's Union, Local 1669
Charla Robinson
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Thunder Bay District Municipal League

From December of 2000 to November 2018, Roger was a Councillor for the Municipality of Neebing. Over the past eighteen years, he has been on various boards representing the Municipality. Roger was on the board of the Thunder Bay District Municipal League and was the league’s representative on the NSWPB. Roger has been in the trades since 1973 and has over thirty years of experience in the Forestry Industry. Roger’s main focus now is promoting the trades.

Roger believes that the apprenticeship opportunities of today are going to allow our youth to become the best tradesperson’s and leaders she or he can be. This is what we need to build the workforce of tomorrow and meet the demands of the future. This is a time of opportunity for today’s youth and the future looks bright.

2nd Vice Chair (Business Representative)
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce

Uli holds a business degree from Germany and worked in several managerial positions prior to his immigration to Canada. For more than 20 years, he headed GRK Fasteners, first as a Vice-President and General Manager for the German screw manufacturer Reisser and, beginning in 1993, as Co-owner and Chairman.

Uli is a firm believer in being different from your competitors, so together with his former wife Gerda and his two sons Dr. Mirco Walther and Dr. Thorsten Walther (deceased 2003), here in Thunder Bay, they developed at GRK numerous patents and fasteners which built the backbone of today's GRK. Through his knowledge, Uli has extensive experience of practices from other countries and continents.

In 2004, the Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Business Person of the Year award. For the last 12 years he has been co-chairing the Chamber of Commerce's Education Committee, and served on the Chamber's Board of Directors for the past 9 years, and as such he was elected Chairman for the 2013/2014 period. He also believes that Northwestern Ontario (NWO) is at the threshold of great things to come, especially if we make sure that every willing person in NWO access to training in the career of his or her choice. Regardless of University, College or Trades, it is our obligation to lay the foundation for our future generations. Uli believes that the future is ours; we only have to take our chances. With the right foresight, this will be the best place to work and live in all of Canada!

Courtney Ward
Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS)

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

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