Mary Austin: How does economic development benefit you?

How do you create a thriving community? One where people want to come and stay, invest, work and play?

Mary Austin is a regular Trail Times contributor with her column

How do you create a thriving community? One where people want to come and stay, invest, work and play?

Can one single spokesperson advocate on behalf a region of 20,000 people spread over seven municipalities to create this vision?

No single small municipality could realistically afford a dedicated Economic Development office. The Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC.ca) was created to speak for all of the communities of the Lower Columbia region (Trail, Rossland, Fruitvale, Area A, Area B, Warfield and Montrose).

It became our regional voice to gather economic information and create a strategy to bring future investment and growth to the whole area. Simply stated, its goal was to serve existing businesses and start ups to create jobs.

Terry Van Horn now leads the LCIC economic development team of two from her office above the Trail post office. She has not only continued to provide a one-stop shop for local, national and international investors, but is a zealous champion of our local business advantages wherever she travels. Some of her key pitches of our region include: a business-friendly community, a highly skilled workforce, inexpensive industrial land, reliable power, strong transportation networks, as well as access to the world-renowned recreation that draws locals and newcomers alike.

The LCIC is not only a cheerleader and source of valuable information for those interested in economic opportunities in the region.

Tourism operators and employers alike now direct skilled workers considering a move to our region to the LCIC because of their great enthusiasm for the region and its benefits. Terry`s team keeps current on all of the recreation, healthcare and educational resources an individual or family could require.

The LCIC promotes workforce development by fielding simple but important questions including: “What types of educational opportunities are available, how far is the closest hospital, and what sort of skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, hockey or other recreation exists?”

Terry is able to see our region for all its strengths and showcase them as a package.

So how does the LCIC work for you?

Not only does a shared economic development resource save your tax money by pooling resources, but most importantly, the LCIC “sets the scene” for investment. By spotting local regional advantages amongst international trends and informing potential investors, investment can occur with confidence. Community growth begins with the hiring of new employees and blossoms into a vibrant and healthy community with increased housing starts, improved amenities and new families relocating to the region.

Can you also be a part of economic development for our area?

Terry is a great example of the success that a positive ambassador can create for our region. When tourists come to our hometowns, they often comment on the warmth and friendliness of our people. Many newcomers have remarked that they relocated because they felt safe, secure, welcomed and informed about opportunities for work and play. We all want our region to grow and prosper.

Let’s all take a page out of the LCIC and promote the excellence of life and work in the Lower Columbia region so that we can continue to move forward together.

Mary Austin is an active Board Member for both Community Futures and the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society (LCCDTS). She is the Chair of the Lower Columbia Tech Club and the Lower Columbia Women’s Business Club. She is also co-owner of Austin Engineer Ltd. and feels fortunate everyday to be able to live and work with her family in this community.

Just Posted

Clearing Trail

Trail was blanketed in snow early Wednesday

Rosssland ski bus returns this year — with a fee

Company to offer service from downtown to RED Mountain 12 hours a day

Trail RCMP take two drunk drivers off the road

The Greater Trail RCMP detachment began Christmas Counter Attack last weekend

RDKB receives funding for disaster response ‘work space’ in Midway

The work space and storage will be used by disaster response volunteers.

Castlegar council set to rule on three retail cannabis proposals

Residents have until Dec. 27 to comment on the business proposals

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Most Read