Located in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula, Welland is only 45 minutes from Buffalo, New York and an hour and half south of Toronto. The city is notable for its large francophone population. Because Welland is so central in Niagara Region the town has easy access to all major transportation corridors. With a population of 50,331, jobs in Welland are scarce and unemployment is at 9 percent - mainly the result of the closure of Atlas Specialty Steels. However, due to the high unemployment rate, Global Communications plans to find a location for a training centre in Welland. The manufacturing sector represents the largest wealth generator and account for 5,000 jobs in Welland. Relative to other communities, Welland possesses a high degree of specialization in manufacturing and a lot of the hiring demand will come from this sector. Something the city is doing to increase the number of jobs in Welland is to create clusters of jobs in the Transportation Equipment and Linked Industries; the Communications and Financial Service Industries; and the Sports Tourism and Recreational Industries.
Jobs in Welland are significantly supported by businesses such as John Deere and Lakeside Steel. Due to a large concentration of francophones in the city and a large degree of bilingualism, the city has several call centres to Welland. Canadian Tire Financial Services is presently Welland's largest supporter for jobs in Welland, employing over 1,000 people in two centres.
Because of the high number of jobs in Welland coming from the manufacturing industry, a majority of the jobs in Welland require only a high school certificate or equivalent, followed by those needing no certificate, diploma or degree. While a minimum number of the jobs in Welland require a university degree, or diploma (below Bachelor level), 4,340 jobs in Welland do require a university certificate, diploma or degree (above Bachelor level).