Developing Community Eligibility for Jobs in Mining Sector — Prototype

In December 2012, members of our team went to Sudbury to work with a group of people interested in how Northern Ontario might be affected by a transportation spine to the Ring of Fire.

The prototypes we were able to develop during the 3-day intensive allowed us to test models that have a high-degree of interactivity, whereby users can easily change variables and see how the changes might play out.

Steve Williams narrates this introduction to the InsightMaker model he developed for the project in consultation with economist David Robinson. 

This InsightMaker model shows cohorts’ eligibility for jobs in mining sector with education and employment factors. It also models population segments that are exiting the work force due to dropout and substance abuse issues. In this model we can see that while there may be large numbers of jobs available, communities may not have sufficient numbers of qualified employees to fill those jobs. Food security factors dramatically impact primary and high school graduation rates, thereby impacting the pool of labour qualified for extractive industries employment. Rather than investing in apprenticeship and trade school programs, we might better spend efforts ensuring adequate food security in the region to ensure that children stay in, and complete, school.

Steve Williams blogs on visualization and modelling at We will be featuring more of Steve Williams’ models, and his thinking about these issues, on Social Innovation Simulation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: this was/is an opportunity to prototype the simulation technology rather than to delve deeply into the complex experiences of Northern communities. Certain assumptions have been made about the nature of community economic development, education, job creation, etc., based on conversation and back-of-the-napkin calculation rather than a comprehensive research process.


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