Jobs forum evolving, more expertise needed to identify employment boosts

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission area the first to test plan that pools knowledge to find easy tasks that can lead to new business

Minister of Jobs

It was supposed to be a pilot program and the jobs forum held in Maple Ridge Thursday is proving to be exactly that.

The effort that’s part of the BC Jobs Plan has already morphed from the Mackenzie model, sketched out by Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell.

That model, used three years ago to turn around the slumping economy of that northern town, had business, government and labour leaders brainstorming on quick ways to kickstart job creation, resulting in a sawmill and pulp mill reopening and a mine beginning operation.

But Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission area is larger than Mackenize and many with the expertise on the topics raised weren’t at the forum, said Maple Ridge economic development spokesperson Sandy Blue.

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission, which compose Invest North Fraser, is the first area to try the model before it is rolled out across the province.

Blue said those experts will be consulted, ministry staff will pitch in and at a second meeting early in the new year  10 possible projects, will be considered.

That number then will be whittled down by June to two or three feasible ideas that can be expedited by having government remove roadblocks and creating the right conditions for a private investment that can produce jobs.

Blue said many of the projects raised at the forum didn’t necessarily result in new employment.

“That’s the challenge really. There are lots of great projects, but they didn’t really create jobs.”

Some concepts as possible sources of jobs included an agricultural-distribution centre, a food-processing centre, a centre of excellence for green building construction and developing a tourism/recreation corridor in the Stave Lake area.

Developing industries that can fit with the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport as well as the film industry are two other possibilities.

Experience the Fraser, the multi-government project that wants to put recreational trails on either side of the Fraser River from Vancouver to Hope was also discussed.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: New procedures to address council are a big concern

Donna Clay says asking public to wait until end of meetings to raise questions is inpractical

Ridge Meadows house leage softball sign-up this Thursday

Players have the option to register in-person or online

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society there for seniors dealing with grief and loss

Discussion on grief and loss to take place at the Maple Ridge Public Library

Cyclist hit Monday in Maple Ridge

Collision on Dewdney Trunk Road, minor injuries

BREAKING: Body found in Maple Ridge identified as Coquitlam soccer player

Edi Bogere-Nyigwo was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home on Dec. 27

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read