Area Partners to Host the Workforce Connect Conference to Assist Local Employers with Recruitment and Retention

Workforce Connect Conference

The County’s Economic Development Office (EDO), in collaboration with member municipalities, the Cities of Barrie and Orillia, the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board is pleased to present the virtual Workforce Connect Conference, being held on Tuesday April 5, and Wednesday April 6, 2022. Business leaders, entrepreneurs and human resource professionals in manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, technology and other sectors are invited to two mornings of fresh ideas, proven resources and new connections to build and retain your workforce. Learn and network with industry leaders and leave with new ideas that will inspire innovation in your organization.

The event includes keynote speakers and interactive roundtables for best practice sharing and will be hosted on an innovative online platform. Key topics will include strategies for inclusive workplaces, best practices for talent attraction, pathways to prepare for the new world of work, and more!

Dates: Tuesday, April 5, 2022 and Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Time: 9 – 11 a.m. both days
Registration: Advance registration is required

This event features engaging keynote speakers including Andrew Au, Global Thought Leader on Digital Transformation and Culture Change. Referred to by Forbes as a “digital transformation expert”, Au helps organizations respond to the new culture and nature of work. He is among the few to be named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30″ list and has received over 50 domestic and international awards for business innovation and thought leadership. What makes Au’s perspectives unique is that he doesn’t just study digital transformation and culture change — he makes it real for the largest organizations in the world, every day.

The event will also feature Dr. Lisa Bélanger, Behavioural Change Expert and Researcher. Dr. Lisa Bélanger is an award-winning researcher who helps leaders and teams optimize performance, productivity, and innovation through leading-edge scientific research. Accessible and easy to understand, Bélanger shares practical strategies that allow for immediate implementation of habits, skills, and work design that result in long-term and sustainable happiness, productivity, and overall well-being. With a PhD in behavioural medicine, Bélanger is the CEO of ConsciousWorks, a consulting firm that supports leaders and teams in maximizing their mental capacity and performance. She is also an executive MBA and a certified exercise physiologist and high-performance specialist.

This event will be presented in partnership with the County of Simcoe, the Cities of Barrie and Orillia, the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board and the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, and with the support of Lakehead University, Sandbox Centre, Community Futures, Small Business Centre of Simcoe County, Barrie, Orillia, and South Georgian Bay Small Business Centre.

“The County continues to support the hard work of local organizations and the labour force as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to work with our municipal and business partners to deliver informative sessions tailored for our regional business environment. Please join us, participate and bring learnings back to your business.”  – County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell

“SMWDLN is excited to partner on the Workforce Connect Conference; an event to help employers identify, understand and develop sustainable strategies to address the labour market issues within Simcoe County. As we emerge from the pandemic, future proofing the workforce will be a key strategy to the future success of local businesses!” – Kelly McKenna, Executive Director, Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board and Literacy Network

“We’re happy to support the Workforce Connect event because it links to a number of our core values. Not only are we committed to helping businesses develop in order to build the local economy, we want to foster working environments where everyone feels seen, heard and know they belong through a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.” – Sara Bentham, Director, Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, Georgian College.

About County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at

About Work in Simcoe County
Work in Simcoe County is a one-stop shop featuring local jobs, resources and career exploration tools. The tool pulls from 20+ different job boards and shows thousands of Simcoe County jobs in one easy-to-use location. Visit

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Chris Hedley
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
705-715-7654 (mobile)​

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
705-734-8386 (mobile)


Business After 5

Thursday, September 28, 2023 – 5 pm to 7 pm La Cle – 63 Main Street, Penetanguishene Hosted by The Economic Development Corporation North Simcoe

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Area Partners to Host the Workforce Connect Conference to Assist Local Employers with Recruitment and Retention