With a new team lead and goals set for the upcoming year, Penticton’s Economic Development team presented their priorities to city council on Tuesday.
The work outlined in the 2018-2022 Economic Development Strategic Plan was reorganized and consolidated for the economic development function combined with the City’s Sports and Events portfolio. The project has been relocated within the Community Services Division, the Economic Development team, now led by Carly Lewis.
Communication, collaboration, retention and expansion, resident and labour attraction and organizational excellence are the focus areas for 2021.
The team also plans to be working with the business community to support them through COVID-19 recovery, as an important role for economic development in 2021. Further efforts will be placed on marketing and service levels at the Penticton Airport, as well as continue building the City’s brand as a destination of choice for remote workers.
Resident and labour attraction continues to be at the top of the list over recent years and will move into 2021 priorities with the EcDev team investing in local and regional marketing campaigns. Goals include adding new talent to the region, filling the gaps in the skilled labour market and highlighting the unique lifestyle that Penticton has to offer.
One of the most critical issues facing Penticton on the list is to seek out opportunities for increasing the City’s housing stock, as it continues to impact all employment sectors for the community.
“As we head into the second month of 2021 and the continuation of the pandemic, we are confident that the priorities for 2021 will continue to move our community forward in the right direction,” Carly Lewis, economic development manager for the City said.
“The key areas of focus are consistent with the direction provided by the City’s Economic Development five-year strategic plan. We will continue to be flexible and reactive to ensure that we provide our businesses and the community support throughout the pandemic recovery process, and position ourselves for success when we begin our return to normal.”