The wheels are in motion for a relatively new campaign that brings together the 14 municipalities of the Capital Region.
Telling the rest of the world that “We’re open for business”, Edmonton Global held their official launch narrative event Thursday, June 20, with a clear plan to attract investment across the Capital Region.
“When you look at other regions around the globe, they are synonymous with certain things and Edmonton Global is working to create a narrative for our region, our value proposition,” explained Sean McRitchie, manager of industrial development with Strathcona County. “Edmonton Global redeveloped their website, their internet presence, they rebranded and had the new logo on display Thursday. They had the shareholders and stakeholders in the room, from municipal partners to regional and economic development groups, educational institutions and everyone in between, to let everyone know what the narrative is for the region.”
Now that the messaging is set for the 15 municipalities involved, which includes memberships for Strathcona County and Fort Saskatchewan, McRitchie said they are all on the same page and can work together through the group.
“They are really focusing on the Edmonton Metro Region being young, educated and growing,” explained McRitchie. “They describe our region as inclusive, fast-growing with 14 municipalities, with great academic institutions, a heavily educated population that is young and that really sets us apart from a lot of other jurisdictions around the world and specifically in North America.”
McRitchie said the new website is very clean, sleek and modern and has the words Young, Educated and Growing front and centre to promote the narrative set out.
“It is in line with best practices for economic development institutions around the world and it communicates our value proposition very clearly,” McRitchie remarked. “It has everything you want to see in a website tailored to the investor and has a lot of great information, data, and analytics on there, a lot of interesting information of their priority sectors and where we stack up.”
The manager of industrial development said everyone seemed very pleased by the launch and the way things are going with Edmonton Global and the county will continue to work to bring investment through this group and others.
“We have our own economic development group, we’re involved in Edmonton Global where we are one of 15 partners in this thing, we have strengths in our own community that speak for themselves and we have great logistical connections, available land, we have a lot of great businesses in our community” explained McRitchie. “We’re really trying to get ourselves on equal footing with the rest of our members and support the overall mandate of the overall organization, which is to drive investment in the Edmonton region as a whole.”
Diversification is a key focus for Strathcona County, especially when it comes to the energy sector, but McRitchie said there are other sectors the county is trying to attract investment in.
“Agriculture, food processing, logistics and transportation, advanced manufacturing and those types of sectors are our areas of focus and that is a good portion of the sectors Edmonton Global is focusing on,” McRitchie noted. “We’re at the table every time making sure our interests are represented and the leads they’ve sent us so far have been well received and we’ve been working on a number of files to date and will continue to in the future.”
McRitchie said it is exciting to work with the regional partners and create this group because it is one of the first all-encompassing regional groups that represent economic development on the global stage.
“It is important that we be patient and realize Rome wasn’t built in a day and we’re going to support Edmonton Global in their efforts,” he added.
Edmonton Global has board meetings monthly and regularly reports to the councils of the municipalities involved. McRitchie said Strathcona County is talking to representatives from Edmonton Global at least once a week and sometimes every day.