Ontario supports local economic growth
McGuinty Government Partners With Communities To Bring Jobs And Opportunity
Communities across Ontario are receiving new tools to help them attract jobs and investment thanks to a partnership between the provincial government and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO).
This work is part of EDCO's Local Economies in Transition initiative, which released its initial report in February 2008. The report identified opportunities for communities to do more to attract investment.
EDCO will use $340,000 in new provincial funding to help its members - government and business economic development professionals - make their communities more "investment ready."
The project has three parts:
- Continued education initiatives, delivered at 12 economic roundtables across six Ontario regions, to help communities maximize investment opportunities and market their competitive advantages
- Establishing a taskforce to define standards of best practice for community and regional economic development
- Upgrades to the organization?s website including new resource material, plus communications and educational tools
The strategic advice provided under this initiative will help municipalities enhance their economic development programs. Some specific examples of potential improvements include:
- Creating a comprehensive database of "shovel ready" development land or "ready to go" industrial buildings
- Improving the effectiveness of economic development websites with information needed by potential investors including detailed community profiles and up-to-date workforce and economic data
- Better coordination to match the training programs offered by local colleges with the requirements of local employers
- Development of a local economic development strategy to provide a community with a clear picture of where its strengths lie and the best types of investment opportunity to target.
- The largest provincial professional economic development association in Canada, EDCO represents almost 600 government, business and economic development professionals working in more than 175 communities across the province.
- Large companies looking to build new facilities often hire site selection consultants to help them decide where to invest. Economic development professionals work in a community to promote local investment strengths, such as workforce skills, efficient transport links or serviced land, to site selectors.
“Bringing new opportunity to Ontario communities is very much a team effort. We want to ensure that everyone involved in economic development has access to the best tools and resources to get results.”
“In an increasingly competitive world, it's up to our members to be at the forefront of investment marketing techniques so that Ontario communities can stand out from the crowd as places where companies want to invest and create jobs.”