The Central Alberta Economic Partnership is launching a workforce development strategy to strengthen this region’s economy, with financial support from the provincial government.
Alberta’s budget for 2023 more than doubled financial support for nine regional economic development alliances (REDAs) in the province.
Through a $1.125 million commitment, each alliance can rely on about $125,000 to increase economic growth and diversification throughout Alberta.
James Carpenter, chair of the Central Alberta Economic Partnership, said local municipalities are very excited to receive the “much-needed” funding increase. “Often smaller communities in rural Alberta lack the resources to support economic attractions and growth. These funds will help to grow economic development in a sustainable manner and further support our region,” he added.
There are nine REDAs across Alberta. These are independent, non-profit organizations made up of member municipalities and regional stakeholders that are working together to promote long-term economic development.
The $1.125 million in 2023 represents an increase of $675,000 from previous years, when the organizations received a total of $450,000 per year.
Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development, said each part of the province has its own needs and goals, “and this additional support will increase their ability to develop local solutions to economic needs while supporting the improvements that their region needs.”
With the additional funding, REDAs can develop targeted solutions to their area’s economic requirements — whether through investment attraction, industry diversification, labour attraction and retention, and strategic economic development planning.
Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, said helping rural communities overcome economic barriers and reach their full potential is a priority.