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Ontario's Highly Skilled Workforce Attracting Investment and Jobs

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Ontario's Highly Skilled Workforce Attracting Investment and Jobs

Ontario's highly-skilled workforce and dynamic business climate are attracting private-sector investments from around the world. 

Ontario's workforce and innovation leadership are pillars of the province's competitive business climate, which is creating jobs, investment and growth without the need for government financial support.

Recent investment projects happening without Ontario government support include:

  • Thomson Reuters (October 2016) -- will open its new Toronto Technology Centre, which is expected to create 400 high-quality technology jobs in Canada over the next two years, with plans to grow to approximately 1,500 jobs over time.
  • Google (January 2016) -- opened its new Canadian headquarters in Kitchener with more than 350 engineers.
  • Ipsen Pharmaceuticals (April 2015) -- the French company announced the opening of its new Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, expected to create approximately 40 new jobs.
  • Slack (September 2016) -- The San Francisco-based technology company announced a new sales and customer support office to be located in Toronto that will create 145 jobs.
  • Paytm Labs (2015) -- Paytm opened a development office in Toronto that currently employs about 40 people. Paytm is India's leading mobile internet company, and is India's largest mobile marketplace. They provide mobile bill payment services to consumers and business-to-business services.
  • Akka Technologies -- Akka opened an engineering and technology consultancy office in Toronto that will employ 50 people. Akka Technologies is a French business consultancy firm with a strong focus in the aerospace and automotive industry.
  • Turo (2016) -- The company launched operations in Ontario in 2016. Turo is a player in the peer-to-peer marketplace in which they facilitate the rental of personal vehicles. Founded in 2009 in California, the service was launched in 2012 and currently operates in more than 2100 cities and 300 airports.

Ontario has among the best-educated workforce in the G7, with 67 per cent of its population having a postsecondary education. The province's 44 universities and colleges produce more than 39,600 skilled graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) each year.

The province also ranks in the top tier across the continent for a comprehensive range of globally important sectors including: information and communications technology (ICT), advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, life sciences, chemistry, financial services, clean tech, agri-food, minerals and mining, and entertainment and media. Seven of the ten largest tech companies in the world conduct R&D in Ontario (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Intel, Cisco).

In the last three years, Ontario has twice been named the top destination for foreign capital investment in North America by fDi Intelligence, the research division of the U.K.-based Financial Times. In August 2016, Ontario was named Canada's best place to invest by the international economic development publication Site Selection.

Analysis by fDi Intelligence found that between 2013 and 2015, Ontario attracted an estimated 347 greenfield investment projects, collectively valued at US$19.6 billion and creating 29,517 jobs. Not captured in these results are many more projects where companies are expanding their existing facilities.

Why companies are investing in Ontario

"Canada is not only our home, it is home to an emerging ecosystem of world-class technology talent. Our new Technology Centre furthers our commitment to growing Canada's preeminent hub of innovation, and to building the customer-centric platforms and solutions of the future. We applaud the Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments for making jobs, innovation and the knowledge economy a top priority and look forward to our role in supporting these initiatives."
-- Jim Smith, President and CEO, Thomson Reuters

"Toronto is one of the most diverse and dynamic cities in North America and an ideal location for Slack's global expansion. We looked at a number of potential locations, but Toronto stood out for several reasons; it is home to a vibrant and diverse community of educated people, it has competitive business costs, and it's a great place to live and work. We are excited to be part of this innovative community, and appreciate the warm welcome we have received so far."
-- Ali Rayl, Director of Customer Experience, Slack

"When Paytm was seeking a location for its new office outside of India, Toronto, Ontario emerged as a clear and easy choice. Toronto offered a plentiful supply of the world-class engineers and scientists to address highly complex problems at the unprecedented scale that we operate at. The diversity of talent also helped us in hiring a truly globally-focused team that reflects the nature and ambitions of our business."
-- Harinder Takhar, CEO, Paytm Labs Toronto

"We see significant opportunity in Canada as a market and we are thrilled to officially open our doors today. Ontario is home to both world-class research institutions and experienced industry talent, which makes it a great first foothold for us in Canada. This expansion into Canada is an important part of our goal to become a global leader in providing innovative therapies for the treatment of patients suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases."
-- Lyndal Walker, Country Manager, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

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