OVIN - Regional Future Workforce Program


The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)


Regional Future Workforce Program

For More Information

OVIN Regional Future Workforce Program Website

OVIN is hosting a proponent information session on November 9, 2022 from 9 to 11am for those interested in submitting to the Regional Future Workforce Program. Register on Zoom.


The Regional Future Workforce (RFW) Program is a pilot program through OVIN designed to encourage students of all ages, across all regions of Ontario, to pursue careers in the automotive and mobility sector.  

The RFW program aims to bridge the gap between all types of students (kindergarten to post-secondary) and the automotive and mobility industry. This work will focus on reducing the stigma associated with skilled trades and automotive industry careers.  

Recognizing the need for greater diversity within the sector, the Regional Future Workforce Program prioritizes engagement with students from equity-deserving and underrepresented groups with the aim to encourage these groups to participate in future opportunities within the automotive and mobility sector.  

The program will also provide further insights about the gaps between industry and academia to then inform future initiatives that will equip the next generation of talent with the skills and knowledge required for the sector’s evolution. 

The goals of OVIN’s Regional Future Workforce Program are:  

  1. To increase exposure to automotive and mobility sector opportunities and learning programs among students across Ontario regions and grade levels (kindergarten to post-secondary);   
  2. To increase the number of equity-deserving and underrepresented groups exploring careers, learning and development opportunities in the automotive and mobility sector; 
  3. To identify opportunities to build sustainable programs based on pilot programming;  
  4. To facilitate collaboration across Ontario between non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and the automotive and mobility industry to build a strong talent pipeline. 

OVIN invites interested and qualified applicants to apply for up to $500,000 to develop and run initiatives as part of the Regional Future Workforce Program. Applicants are expected to create programs that engage a minimum of 500 students. These programs must be of no cost for the student to participate. Applicants must demonstrate experience in developing and implementing successful education programs for audience segments ranging from kindergarten to post-secondary.  

Applicants can apply to create programs in 4 audience segments:  

  1. Kindergarten to Grade 4  
  2. Grade 5 to Grade 9   
  3. Grade 10 to Grade 12  
  4. Post-secondary.  

Applicants must apply for at least 2 audience segments and multiple regions within Ontario under one program application. Note: program content must be unique for each audience segment served. 

Successful applicants will have until December 15, 2023, to complete their program.  

Program Guidelines

  • Applicants are required to partner with at least one organization when developing and implementing their program. Please check the requirements for partners under “Eligibility” section below.
  • Applicants are to indicate the grade range(s) of students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 they plan to engage during programming.
  • Applicants are to indicate in which region across Ontario they will launch and deliver programming.
  • Applicants must engage students from underrepresented groups in the area.


Eligible Applicants

  • Ontario based post-secondary education institutions   
  • Non-Profit Organizations that
    • have an Ontario-based bank account and 
    • run education programs for kindergarten to post-secondary students in Ontario  
  • Elementary and secondary public schools and school boards across Ontario 

Matching Contribution 

OVIN requires that successful proponents provide a matching contribution, meaning that one staff member per audience segment targeted has their salary covered by the applicant. Additional requirements include: 

  • The staff members must be involved in all key activities of the program (please refer to the program’s Key Components for more information). 
  • Volunteers do not qualify as staff members under OVIN’s matching contribution requirement. 

Partnership Requirements

All partners must be Ontario-based.

  • Industry partners must be automotive and mobility industry members, including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Tier 1 suppliers, and relevant industry associations.
  • Elementary and secondary public schools, school boards and post-secondary institutions are all included.
  • Partners are expected to consult on program development to ensure it is in response to an industry skills/talent need.
  • Post-secondary institutions are required to collaborate with at least one industry partner to develop programs and are encouraged to work with at least one school/school board to coordinate student participation. 

Maximum Project Value


Project Duration

Programs must be developed and delivered within 8 months of project activation. 

Successful applicants will have until December 15, 2023, to complete their program.  

Special Notes

OVIN is hosting a proponent information session on November 9, 2022 from 9 to 11am for those interested in submitting to the Regional Future Workforce Program. Register on Zoom.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Deadline to complete and submit the expression of interest form.

Please note that completion of this form does not constitute an application for funding. 

External Deadline

OCI response to applicants.

External Deadline

Full application submission due date, including proposal and other supporting documents. 

How to Apply

Applicants are required to complete an Expression of Interest to submit to Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI). Following this submission, an OCI Manager will contact you to discuss the opportunity and provide any assistance (if required).   

Please complete and submit the expression of interest form by November 30, 2022.  If your organization is selected to advance, the Program Manager will invite you to complete a full application. 

UofG applicants should inform research.services@uoguelph.ca if their application is selected to proceed. Each application or proposal to be submitted to a research sponsor (government, industry, business, foundation, private or other) must be approved by the University (Office of Research Services) before the application is forwarded to the sponsor. To allow time for ORS review and processing, full applications (including an OR-5 Form, research proposal/application, and a budget) should be submitted to research.services@uoguelph.ca two weeks in advance of external deadlines.

For more details about this program, please see the Program Guidelines. The entirety of the program’s documents can be found on OVIN’s Resource Documents page.


For Questions, please contact

Ontario Centre of Innovation

Christine Stenton
Talent Development Project Lead

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