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Workforce AI: Supporting local economies and businesses

A Conference Board of Canada study identified Kingston as one of the Canadian cities that was hardest hit economically by the COVID-19 pandemic. The region experienced higher unemployment and a significant number of business closures due to restrictions placed on the tourism and hospitality sectors.

In response, Matthias Spitzmuller, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Raga Gopalakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, partnered with the Centre for Social Impact at Smith, the City of Kingston, the Centre for Advanced Computing at Queen’s, Workforce WindsorEssex and St. Lawrence College to create a new artificial intelligence tool to help job seekers.

Workforce AI is an online platform enabling job seekers to identify emerging job market trends and ways of adapting their skill set. To start, it will focus on supporting workers in the law enforcement, information technology, and health-care service sectors.

The Workforce AI platform, which was funded by the City of Kingston and the Ontario government, is also intended to help organizations like colleges and other training and service providers to develop programs that meet local workforce needs and trends, creating a “smoother match” between local labour supply and demand.