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Federal and provincial governments give North Island $250,000 for labour market study

Funding to build report on labour market, attract medical professionals to region
Aquaculture will be one of the key focus areas of the study. (Photo courtesy Grieg Seafood BC)

Thanks to $250,000 from the federal and provincial governments, leaders in the North Island will have a better idea about the area’s labour market and what they need to do to strengthen the regional economy.

The funding is going to a Labour Market Partnership project, which involes the City of Campbell River as well as the Strathcona and Mount Waddington regional districts. The project includes producing an updated labour market report and undertaking several initiatives to attract healthcare professionals. Key focus areas will be the regional health and wellness, aquaculture, forest and tourism sectors.

“This government investment will help build stronger communities in the North Island region and help attract talent to high demand sectors such as healthcare,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “The results of the study will help communities grow a strong and sustainable local economy that will benefit people today and strengthen future generations.”

A joint press release from the three organizations says that the economic landscape of the region is shifting, due to things like global events, evolving economic drivers, policy and regulatory changes.

“The economy of the Regional District of Mount Waddington has changed significantly over the past decade in response to evolving policies and changing demographics. We share many economic sectors with the City of Campbell River, and a study that looks at the integrated labour market of both our regions will help guide our economic development policies for the next five to ten years,” said Regional District of Mount Waddington Chairman, Andrew Hory.

The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are providing funding support of $250,000 through the Community and Employer Partnerships fund. Additional project costs will be covered by the City, SRD and Regional District of Mount Waddington.

“Our communities are all stronger when we work together. This project will provide valuable information and data for Campbell River and the entire north island. All of our communities can benefit from collaborative workforce development and attraction initiatives to recruit talent to the area” said Mark Baker, SRD Board Chair.

A steering committee of regional representatives will help inform and shape the Labour Market Partnership project.

“We gratefully acknowledge the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia’s support. This funding will enable us to provide updated information and tools to help decision-makers address labour market challenges, seize opportunities and strategize solutions,” Campbell River Mayor Kermit Dahl said. “We’re also grateful to the steering committee members for sharing their time, skills and expertise; their insights will add tremendous value to the project.”

The project’s anticipated completion date will be in early 2024.

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