Vegreville – Economic development efforts by the Town of Vegreville and local business leaders got a boost this week with a provincial Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) grant of $150,000.
The grant will be used to fund research that is needed to develop and implement the Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan that has been implemented by the Town.
“Economic development was a key goal of our Council well before the closure of the Case Processing Centre was announced,” said Mayor Tim MacPhee. “For the past several years we have been working hard with the Vegreville Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Board (VEDTAB) and Chamber of Commerce to create a long-term economic plan for the region.”
Through the Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan, the Town of Vegreville looks to produce an adaptable strategic action plan that will accomplish:
• Workforce attraction/retention;
• Labour market training/awareness;
• Community and business collaboration;
• Attraction of investment and innovative/sustainable industries;
• Land development plans; and
• Residential growth plans.
The Mayor adds, “our Council has been fighting for the economic future of our community and we must look ahead and explore other opportunities to attract new business and jobs to Vegreville. We greatly appreciate the work of our MLA Jessica Littlewood to secure this grant and allow us to move forward with our plans much more quickly.”
Council and local business leaders also recently met with Alberta Independent Senator Doug Black to discuss potential economic opportunities for Vegreville and the region. The meeting was an important opportunity to inform the Senator about the many features Vegreville has to offer potential industries.
“While our meeting with the Senator Black did not identify a specific project or industry for Vegreville, we want to ensure Vegreville has another strong advocate in Ottawa in addition to our MP Shannon Stubbs,” adds the Mayor.
The Town, VEDTAB and the Chamber of Commerce will be meeting again in the near future to discuss the grant and the next steps for the Economic Diversity Enhancement Plan. The Town will provide updates to the community as decisions are made on how to proceed with the plan.