L-R: Elisabeth Meyer, Program Manager at EEC, Sue Watts, Executive Director of EEC, Steve Clark, MPP, Harrison Olajos, CEO of UP360

The Employment + Education Centre (, in conjunction with UP360 Inc., are thrilled to announce that the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities have funded their CareerLabsVR system through the Ontario Labour Market Partnership fund with a specific focus on the Steel and Aluminum sector.

CareerLabsVR will provide all Ontarians with the opportunity to explore, learn, and discover a variety of career options through the immersive power of virtual reality. This virtual reality (VR) system, puts job seekers in the driver’s seat to not only get tailored job information, but to see, hear, and experience the job itself… without ever leaving the Career Practitioner’s office. Research indicates that 90% of what we see and do is retained, something that has always been missing from traditional career decision making methods. This makes virtual reality incredibly beneficial and involves job seekers in a completely new way. CareerLabsVR will open career opportunities for people, which they might not have otherwise known about, or considered. This includes current high-demand occupations and future occupations. The resulting increase in knowledge, ability to experience jobs and skill development will lead to employment that people require to improve their financial security. Research shows that when people are empowered with skills, confidence, training and choose employment in a job with which they are satisfied, their earnings are positively impacted.

This funding will be used to develop 10 occupations predicated on the notion of the “life cycle” of the Steel and Aluminum sector, including Mining, Welding, Fabrication, Machining and Recycling along with Draftsperson, Tool & Dye and Sheet Metal worker. Industry partners from this sector and from across the province will be engaged to ensure accuracy and precise creation of these careers in the virtual reality realm.

The Ontario Labour Market Partnerships program provides financial assistance to local communities, sector groups, employee/employer associations, and employers in developing and implementing strategies for addressing and responding to local economic (employment) development, labour force adjustments and human resource planning. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities delivers the program in Ontario.

MPP Steve Clark states, “The CareerLabsVR project will give Ontario businesses a unique new way of attracting talent and to give workers and jobseekers an exciting and compelling way to learn about careers in the steel and aluminum industries. I’ve had the opportunity to try the technology and I’m excited that this leading-edge project is happening right here in Brockville at the EEC. The CareerLabsVR project is an example of how we are tapping into Ontario’s innovation potential and supporting our digital talent.”

According to Sue Watts, Executive Director of the Employment + Education Centre, “as the demand for skilled workers increases, so does the need to provide practical, comprehensive, skills-based learning opportunities for job seekers. CareerLabsVR provides a unique solution towards connecting the right worker with the right job, thus reducing recruitment, training time and expense, while enabling the prospective candidate to gain an enhanced and realistic understanding of the career and what it entails”.

Harrison Olajos, CEO of UP360 Inc., partner in this project, “Virtual Reality is an incredibly powerful technology that has the power to revolutionize the future employment and education service. Through partnerships like these, we can bring that future to people in Ontario sooner and put Ontario on the Map as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking provinces in the world. On behalf of all of us at UP360, we are all extremely proud and excited to be a part of the team building these tools, and using this technology to help individuals and industry in the province.”


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