Niagara Community Observatory to present new brief on March 20

On March 20, in Pond Inlet from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory and the Niagara Workforce Planning Board will be joining together to present research brief #28.

The Niagara Community Observatory is a ‘public-policy think-tank’ that partners with Brock and the Niagara community to explore research on current and pressing topics. The NCO has also worked with the University of Buffalo. The director of NCO (Niagara Community Observatory), Dr. Charles Conteh, is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Brock. His specialties are public policy and management, political economy, and governance.

Their current research brief is a project titled, Youth in Niagara: Highly Skilled, Highly Mobile. The project explored education and employment data from the 2016 census, employment opportunities available to youth and job demand data for the local community. This research hopes to capture and understand what youth in the Niagara region are doing, where they are headed, and what opportunities exist for them.

After the presentation there will be a panel discussion where the research team behind the project can answer questions. The team that will be on the panel include: Associate Professor of Geography, Jeff Boggs; NWPB Research and Project and Manager, Adam Durrant.

Besides this new brief, Dr. Conteh and his team have done a number of other research projects. Some of the more recent ones include: More Than Money: Leveraging the Benefits of Sport Hosting in Niagara, Youth Employment in Niagara: Mapping the Opportunities, and a Binational Prosperity Initiative, and a Binational Prosperity Initiative.

The More Than Money: Leveraging the Benefits of Sport Hosting in Niagara aimed at determining the impact of hosting large sporting events. For this project 251 people who attended the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, a curling event hosted in St. Catharines, were surveyed based on their beliefs on how the event impacted the Niagara Region on an economic, social and environmental level. There was additional research based on economic impact of eight other events that have come to Niagara in the past five years that was also included in the brief. The brief was presented at Brock in the Cairns building on February 7.

Back in November of 2017 NCO released their Youth Employment in Niagara: Mapping the Opportunities brief. The brief explored the educational attainment of youth and what employment they held. It found that although compared to the provincial average, the Niagara region has more educational attainment (high school, university, etc.), the majority of youth tend to work in service jobs that have little job security or benefits. The hope is that this research can be used to lower the amount of youth in these precarious jobs.

For the Binational Prosperity Initiative, NCO partnered with the University of Buffalo. The study investigated what sectors were in good shape for investment and business opportunities and worked to discover what public policies would help these sectors to grow, in order to increase employment opportunities in Niagara.

Those interested in the event should register on EventBrite before attending https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/nwpbs-region-building-series-3-tickets-44184300432.

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