David Cassidy (Image courtesy of Unifor Local 444 via Facebook)David Cassidy (Image courtesy of Unifor Local 444 via Facebook)

Former Unifor Local 444 head named as provincial advisor

A prominent figure in the Windsor-Essex labour movement has a new job.

The provincial government has named former Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy a Skilled Trades Special Advisor (STSA) at the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development.

"As our province continues to grow and attract new investments, we will need more skilled workers to support these growing industries," said Cassidy in a media release. "Not only will these workers help to build Ontario, but they will build a better future for themselves and their families."

Ontario Labour Minister David Piccini has indicated the need to fill jobs in the high-demand skilled trades industry.

"Our government has attracted $43-billion in investments in advanced manufacturing, including automakers and EVs," said Piccini. "As these sectors grow, we need to prepare our skilled trades workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and that begins with finding out where those jobs are and how we can build a talent pathway to fill them."

Cassidy recently retired from Chrysler Canada after 31 years with the automaker. He began in 1993 as an electrician apprentice. He worked his way up through various positions and had been a member of Unifor's executive board since its inception.

He left the presidency of Local 444 earlier this month after six years in the position. The local is one of the most influential in Ontario, with 20,000 active and retired members in 31 Windsor-Essex workplaces.

The provincial government said that with EV and manufacturing investment coming to Ontario, there will be a demand for half a million skilled trades workers over the next decade.

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