Canada’s automotive sector is going through its biggest transformation in recent times.

Article By Christopher Nabeta, Executive Chair & Founding Member of Accelerate Auto

MAJOR INVESTMENTS are being made in this industry

that is responsible for one in seven jobs in our country. Although digitization, electrification have become some of the industry buzz words that are driving those major investments, the less spoken about need in order to support this evolving infrastructure is “skilled workforce”. Over the last several years, our industry has experienced a growing skilled labour shortage. From trades to white-collar subject matter experts, we have found ourselves in a situation that has led some dealer associations to establish a recruitment infrastructure abroad to patch the skilled workforce gap. Whether this strategy is sustainable for the long term is yet to be determined. 

Launched in 2021, Accelerate Auto is born from a group of a dozen Black automotive professionals, employed in all verticals within the industry, motivated in increasing Black representation in Canada’s automotive sector. “Why focus on the Black community?” is a question we often get. Out of respect to the other underrepresented groups in auto, we can only speak to our lived experience. Moreover, we understand the need for the overall diversification of our workforce, so we committed ourselves to building sustainable, scalable and adaptable solutions that could also be leveraged tosupport other communities.

When I spoke to buzz words and the skilled workforce as a need to be supported, it was followed by the demonstrated understanding for the need to diversify its representation through the pursuit of foreign workers. The work of Accelerate Auto highlights the opportunities that lie domestically and calls for a focus on underserved communities, from the grassroots levels (grade school, high school, university, college, and trade schools) to adults who may not have considered automotive as a career path.

To ensure we built relevant programming, we held consultation meetings with the industry and the potential (future) workforce, as well as associations and other leaders to understand the root cause of the lack of Black representation. Beyond the need for trade workers, our industry is more tech than ever, we also need lawyers and accountants, among other roles, and there is an untapped talent pool of dreamers in our educational system that could fill the future talent gap in our industry, just by us being present in the spaces they navigate.

With the support of our partners, our organization holds awareness activations in the communities as well as at our partners’ workspaces to expose the youth to a whirlwind of opportunities. As part of our suite of programming, we have developed an internship program that allows those youth to gain valuable work experience  in our sector. We have also launched a mentorship program to ensure we retain the talent with automotive by deepening their roots through the support from established leaders. Accelerate Auto offers a suite of programming that is geared to drive impact in the communities that we serve, as well as for the industry that we support.

As we invest in new infrastructure to address the changing landscape of Canada’s auto sector and work on solutions to ensure we close the gap in labour force, “diversification” should be added as an essential buzz word. Understanding the competing priorities that exist in our world filled with headwinds, Accelerate Auto’s group of twenty-nine volunteers is committed to continue consulting with willing partners and work on the development of relevant, scalable programming to support the diversification of our employee-base.

I encourage you to reach out to our team and find out how we can work together in attracting domestic talent and develop the leaders of tomorrow.

For more information on Accelerate Auto’s programs and activations in a community near you please visit or contact

Exciting News! Building on the success of their Mentorship Program pilot, Accelerate Auto is thrilled to launch a new Mentorship Program tailored for women professionals in the automotive sector!

Contact the Accelerate Auto team if you are interested in joining us on this transformative and unparalleled journey as a mentor or mentee by sending an email to

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