Original Published 09:28 Apr 21, 2022

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce has released a workforce development strategy meant to guide a “co-operative and integrative response” across the region.

The project aims to ensure that there are enough of the “right” skilled workers and supports for them to drive economic growth in the County of Grande Prairie, City of Grande Prairie and M.D. of Greenview.

“This strategy will ensure widespread and swift response to what those of us here already know – that our region is an area of choice among Alberta’s great places to live and work,” said Leanne Beaupre, county reeve.

“This strategy delivers an innovative, co-ordinated and practical approach to advance workforce development in our region,” said Tertius Genis, chamber chair.

The initiative, to be implemented over five years, was developed over the past two years by the chamber along with the city, county, Greenview, Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) and Alberta Labour and Immigration.

The chamber and its partners want to advance the recommendations outlined in the strategy to address the region’s employment demands, skills gaps and workforce development needs.

The chamber says the strategy’s key goals are to formalize and strengthen existing partnerships in place since the inception of the strategy; attract and retain talent to support local businesses and look at workforce gaps; create partnerships that then will collaborate and support the attraction and retention of talent, and celebrate and promote this region as a great place to live and work.

“Our region is teeming with talent, skills and distinctive entrepreneurial energy,” said Justin Kohlman, NWP president.

“This strategy not only demonstrates the value in working together, but it also provides a considered approach to actively developing and retaining an equipped and relevant workforce that will meet evolving needs and deliver impactful results.”

Kaycee Madu, provincial minister of labour and immigration, said the strategy will develop new opportunities in the Grande Prairie region to support local industries and grow the economy.

This item reprinted with permission from Town & Country News, Beaverlodge, Alberta