“GEDC To Meet with Local Business and Government Leaders”
On Thursday, February 16, the GEDC will be holding meetings in Geraldton and Longlac for local businesses, business associations as well as elected and non-elected government representatives, to discuss the economic challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the Greenstone region and the broader northern Ontario economy.
Greenstone businesses have a lot to offer both at home and in other markets. “As we consider all the excellent potential development that could occur in our region, and the opportunities for growth of our economy, it is important for our businesses to be ready for that growth and to be strategic about our participation in wider markets whether all that development occurs in our area or not.” says Sylvie Goulet, Executive Director of the GEDC. Over the course of the past year, Sylvie and her team have been developing strategic plans to address the many challenges and opportunities that face the Greenstone economy over the coming years. Between the existing forest-based industries, expansion plans at Greenstone Gold Mines, the much discussed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline, and even the longer-term development of the Ring of Fire mineralized zone, the future holds many opportunities for local and regional businesses and the GEDC intends to make the most of it.
Building on the Workforce Development Survey and the New Ideas Business Report, both released in 2016, the GEDC now wants to actively address the skills and capacity shortages facing local businesses and to help local business “Unlock their Potential” by following through with many of the ideas contained in their strategic road map. “In addition to being the best we can be, we hear our business operators talk of benefits that could be realized from broader business relationships and partnerships, both here in Greenstone, and in markets beyond”. Ms Goulet commented. The Workforce Development Survey highlighted many areas where the availability of additional skills would help local businesses grow. The New Ideas Business Report showed that business is seeking increased collaboration throughout northern Ontario and even beyond.
Greenstone has a unique opportunity to build new businesses and forge new partnerships with industry, education institutions and government to offer products and services that develop essential technical abilities, critical employability skills and experience opportunities to excel as skilled workers in the region. Through increased training the skill sets and business capacity of Greenstone businesses can be expanded to take on more business opportunities. And through more government-2-business and business-2-business collaborations Greenstone businesses can work more creatively and effectively to develop their capabilities and provide broader services both locally and to larger markets in northern Ontario and beyond. All of this takes planning and communication, much of which is well underway.
For the Greenstone economy to grow and prosper it is important for businesses, associations and governments to all work together. Not just for one report or for one election, or to brainstorm one project, but to set a common path to Greenstone’s long-term economic future. To do that, all stakeholders, governments and businesses have to come together to share ideas and identify ways to work smarter.
GEDC is inviting business operators, representatives from business associations, economic development officers and elected officials of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in our region to come out and discuss opportunities for collaboration and cooperation to achieve economic growth. Meetings will be held on February 16 at 1:00 pm at the Geraldton French Club, and another at 6:00 pm at the Longlac Pizzaria & Steakhouse in Longlac. The GEDC is looking to get input and build on the creative ideas that are contained in the New Ideas Business Report, which can be viewed on-line at http://www.gedc.ca/upload/documents/gedc_newbusinessreport_final-e.pdf