Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP), the regional economic alliance that encompasses 42 municipalities, is seeking guidance from the member communities with regard to what orientation it should focus its efforts on in the medium and long term.
As part of the consultative process, CAEP will be organizing a Community Café in Stettler on May 12, Thursday to engage community and business leaders in a discussion as to how the alliance should reshape its structure and policies in tune with changing times.
Al Kemmere, current holder of the rotating CAEP chairmanship, reminded that the organization was 12 years old and indicated that this was a good time to go back to the communities and ask what could be done to ensure that CAEP remains relevant, functional and useful.
“It is a good time to sit down with the member municipalities and the business community to get a feeling as to what the communities think they need from an economic development organization on a regionalized basis,” said Kemmere.
“There will be a series of questions asked to start the discussion and then a number of small roundtable type sessions to get them to give us the input as to what they need from a regional economic development approach.”
He admitted the discussion which led to the search for community feedback was prompted by the provisional government’s decision to cut down on its contribution to CAEP budget as well as on the services CAEP was earlier being provided through provisional government structures.
“They had some staff that were available to work on our projects that was part of their contribution but they decided they wanted to focus on a different direction,” said Kemmere in reference to the support that was withdrawn from CAEP by the government.
“And now we are trying to establish our own direction forward.”
The gathering in Stettler will take place at the Studio Room of the Stettler Recreation Centre beginning at 9 a.m.