A recent event might suggest there is a more cautious approach to economic development announcements in the city. This was noticed with Penske Truck Leasing opening a four bay service facility and hiring five employees.
According to the Windsor Star, the company has been operating in Windsor since last year. It is quite the change.
Former mayor Eddie Francis made a career out of announcements which were made too early. In total he announced some 1,567 jobs.
Only about one is still active.
Despite considerable hype, Francis lost out to Lancaster, CA, for an assembly facility to put together electric buses for Chinese company BYD. Some 500 jobs were eventually lost to the Golden State. The CBC reported May 7, 2012, about Francis planning to purchase BYD buses, bragging it would, “… send shock waves through the system.”
His announcements were often shocking because of their lack of substance.
One was the January 2009 announcement of travel management company Wizie consolidating its research and development operations in Windsor. There could be as many as 135 jobs within four years.
On April 15, 2010, LED light maker Tesla Digital was preparing to create 120 jobs over a few years. A year later Pristine LED arrived with 300 expected jobs.
The solar industry was booming in Windsor, starting with Solar Source saying on May 10, 2010, that it would hire 200 workers to make solar panels. Then, in October, Siliken announced it would build one of the largest solar module manufacturing plants in North America.
Francis boasted the, “… 175 direct jobs will continue to position our city and our region as Ontario’s leader in solar equipment.”
If it existed at all, that leadership quickly evaporated.
On the technology front, an August 25, 2011, news conference heralded the arrival of Team My Mobile. It was about to develop mobile apps in Windsor and needed 32 workers.
December 22, that same year, we heard the announcement that Dynamic Solutions, an oil and gas company, was going to set up a machining centre to employ 40. It later departed.
In November 2012 Autodata Solutions was about to open an office and could hire up to 60 workers. Today it has a single employee working out of the FCA facility.
Then WiFi technology developer Arada announced on March 22, 2013, that it would also hire 60. Francis said it highlighted, “… the city’s ability to attract leading international technology companies.”
As usual, he offered no proof.
Since Francis left the mayor’s chair there have been few, if any, phantom, or even real, announcements. Maybe all the shocking Francis was doing gave people hope. Of course it would have been better if he was as good at finding jobs as he was at announcing them.