Mathstronauts Receives Prestigious Grant from Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) to Drive Interests in Automotive Careers

Hamilton, September 5, 2023
by Priska Handojo, MDCC, Marketing and Communications Specialist at Mathstronauts

Mathstronauts is thrilled to announce that we have been selected by the Ontario Government through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) as a recipient of the Regional Future Workforce (RFW) Program to support the development of a highly skilled workforce in the automotive and mobility sector.

The RFW Program is allocating over $6 million to 14 projects carried out by Ontario non-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions, and school boards to deliver automotive and mobility-focused programs connecting students from kindergarten to post-secondary to the sector. 

The nearly $300,000 funding received by Mathstronauts underscores the significance of our mission to bridge the STEM educational gap and empower students in underserved communities. This award validates the relentless efforts of our team and charges our ability to extend the outreach of our programs.

“As we continue to grow Ontario’s auto supply chain, it’s important that we empower students and connect them with exciting opportunities in the sector,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We’re attracting billions of dollars worth of investment from companies worldwide that will create thousands of new jobs.”

“We are honored to be selected as a recipient of this funding and excited to contribute to this important project,” said Sehrish Zehra, Executive Director at Mathstronauts. “At Mathstronauts we believe in providing educational programs driven by community needs, and our work here will help to pave the pathway for the technologically skilled workforce required in Ontario in the near future.”  


Fostering a Talent Pipeline

“Careers in Ontario’s auto sector offer life-changing opportunities, with good pay, pensions and benefits. Our government will continue to invest in innovative projects that help workers and jobseekers get the skills they need to land better jobs with bigger paychecks in the auto industry,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

Through the RFW Program, Mathstronauts will create two school programs in collaboration with GM Canada, McMaster University, and the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board. These programs will engage 600 students in grades 5-12 to foster interest in automotive and mobility careers. By offering high-quality STEM programming, mentorship, and hands-on projects, we aim to enhance students’ readiness for the automotive industry future workforce, cultivating their software-related skills and industry knowledge.

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade of Ontario, Victor Fedeli and Ontario Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton with recipients of the RFW Program, including Mathstronauts’ Director, Sehrish Zehra (front row, third from right) and Instructional Developer, Bryan Williams (second row, third from right) at the OVIN Announcement Event on May 30, 2023.


Promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Automotive Sector

We are committed to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). This funding aims to level the playing field for underrepresented groups in the automotive sector and reducing stigmas around pursuing careers in this field. 

Our programs will embody EDI principles through diverse curriculum content, featuring varied ethnic, racial, and gender identities. We will integrate inclusive examples of scientists, engineers, and researchers, fostering cultural awareness. Hands-on activities and projects will emphasize cultural diversity. Fostering inclusivity will help students connect, understand diverse STEM careers, and learn mutual acceptance and respect.

GM Canada will provide students a chance to connect with real-world STEM mentors in class, sharing their automotive career journeys. These mentors are GM Canada’s engineers and technologists, and they will raise awareness about the diversity of automotive jobs, demystify STEM jobs, and showcase their dynamic work settings.


OCI is grateful for the support from the Government of Ontario. The three core elements that make the Regional Future Workforce program stand out are its regional reach, the inclusion of equity-deserving groups, and the reach across multiple audience segments.” 

Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO of Ontario Centre of Innovation.

Ontario has emerged on the global stage as the jurisdiction that will usher in the future of the automotive sector as it transitions through electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility solutions. The Regional Future Workforce program is another example of Ontario’s commitment to ensuring that we have a highly-skilled and diverse workforce across the province to power this industry for years to come.

Raed Kadri, Head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network, Ontario Centre of Innovation

This funding will play an important role in preparing our youth to respond to the needs and challenges of tomorrow. As Hamilton and Ontario continue to grow at a rapid pace, it is critical that we encourage young Ontarians with an interest in the skilled trades to pursue employment opportunities in that area. I am confident that this funding will contribute to that end – enabling great community organizations like Mathstronauts to continue to provide high quality STEM programming to youth from grades 5-12, and encourage their pursuit of rewarding careers that support local communities and economies.

Neil Lumsden, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.

For more information and/or PR inquiries, please contact: Priska Handojo (