The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce Regional Workforce Development Strategy has been released and includes targeted actions aimed at ensuring there are enough workers with the right skills and supports to drive strong economic growth across the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie and Municipal District of Greenview. The strategy, which will be implemented over the next five years, will guide a cooperative and integrative response to workforce development across the region.

Grounded in two years of extensive research and consultation, the community-driven strategy is the result of a strong collaboration led by the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City, County, Greenview, Northwestern Polytechnic and Alberta Labour and Immigration. Over the past two years, nearly 800 community stakeholders provided feedback and insights to support the strategy’s development.

As a next step, the six partners will continue their work as the Regional Workforce Development Partnership to advance the recommendations outlined in the strategy addressing the region’s employment demands, skills gaps and workforce development needs. A key component of implementing the actions will be the continued involvement of local business and industry, government and the community at large.

Four key goals will advance the strategy:

  1. Formalize and strengthen the existing partnership that has been in place since the inception of the strategy.
  2. Attract and retain talent to support local business and address the workforce gaps.
  3. Build partnerships and collaboration to support the attraction and retention of talent, skills development and training.
  4. Celebrate and promote the region as a great place to live and work.

 Each of the four goals includes associated relevant and achievable short-, medium- and long-term actions, which are outlined in a separate working document. Intended to be a “living document,” the strategy will be responsive and adjust to changes in priorities and conditions that may occur over the next five years.

 To access the Regional Workforce Development Strategy and to stay up to date about the Region’s workforce development planning and initiatives, visit the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce at grandeprairiechamber.com/labour-market-study.

Quotes:

Kaycee Madu, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Government of Alberta

“We are pleased to support projects that will help Albertans gain the skills needed in today’s job market and strengthen Alberta’s economic recovery. This collaborative effort will help identify existing workforce needs and develop new opportunities in the Grande Prairie region to support local industries and grow our economy now and in the future.”

Tertius Genis, Board Chair, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce

“This strategy delivers an innovative, coordinated and practical approach to advance workforce development in our region. The Chamber is committed to continuing our work with our partners and the community to put the recommendations to work to create a strong and resilient workforce for today and the future.”

Justin Kohlman, President and CEO, Northwestern Polytechnic

“Our region is teeming with talent, skills and distinctive entrepreneurial energy. This strategy not only demonstrates the value in working together, it also provides a considered approach to actively developing and retaining an equipped and relevant workforce that will meet evolving needs and deliver impactful results.” 

Mayor Jackie Clayton, City of Grande Prairie

“It is vital that our region work together to attract and retain the right skills across existing and emerging sectors to continue to build a vibrant and economically prosperous community. We are encouraged by the strategy’s four goals that define collaborative actions to support our workforce and labour needs now and into the future.”

Reeve Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie

“This strategy will ensure widespread and swift response to what those of us here already know – that our region is an area of choice among Alberta’s great places to live and work. The County of Grande Prairie is proud to collaborate with the Government of Alberta, the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, Northwestern Polytechnic, the City of Grande Prairie and the M.D. of Greenview to attract the right people with the necessary skills to strengthen our region’s economic growth for years to come.”

Reeve Tyler Olsen, Municipal District of Greenview

“Successful economic growth for our region will depend on our ability to ensure there are enough workers with the right skills to meet the needs of new businesses and industries. The Regional Workforce Strategy strengthens the partnership with our neighbouring municipalities and provides practical actions that will help us work together to meet this future demand.”

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Media Contacts:

Alberta Labour and Immigration
Roy Dallmann, Press Secretary, Labour and Immigration
780-638-9400
roy.dallmann@gov.ab.ca

Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
Tom Pura, Manger Communications and Public Relations
780-814-1293
tom@gpchamber.com

Northwestern Polytechnic
Amanda Heiford, Acting Manager Marketing and Communications
780-802-4736
Aheiford@nwpolytech.ca

City of Grande Prairie
Lydia Sadiq, Strategic Communications Advisor
780-357-8759
lsadiq@cityofgp.com

County of Grande Prairie                   
Reeve Leanne Beaupre
780-814-3121
lbeaupre@countygp.ab.ca                                

Municipal District of Greenview
Stacey Sevilla, Manager Communications and Marketing
780-524-7625 
Stacey.sevilla@mdgreenview.ab.ca

Labour Market Report logos

BACKGROUNDER

Purpose of the strategy:

The purpose of the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce Regional Workforce Development Strategy is to guide a coordinated and collaborative approach to workforce development in the region. The five-year strategy is based on evidence collected through extensive research and consultation, and includes focused and achievable recommendations to:

  • Address attraction and retention gaps and opportunities;
  • Address knowledge and skills gaps between the current workforce and future needs; and
  • Highlight and promote the Region’s livability and vitality and our quality-of-life assets.

What is the geographic area included in the region?

The City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, MD of Greenview and area communities.

Who are the project partners?

The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce is the project lead. Partners include the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, MD of Greenview, Northwestern Polytechnic (formerly Grande Prairie Regional College) and Alberta Labour and Immigration.

Who will manage the implementation of the strategy?

The creation of the Regional Workforce Development Strategy, including all phases of work leading up to its development, is the result of a partnership committed to a collaborative and coordinated approach to ensuring there are enough workers with the right skills and supports to drive strong economic growth in the Region – today and tomorrow. This strong and effective partnership is well-positioned to govern the implementation of the strategy.

What information informed the strategy?

The strategy is informed by two years of extensive data collection, research and community consultation. Nearly 800 community stakeholders took part in surveys, interviews, focus groups and workgroups between 2020 and 2022. Stakeholders include employers; employees; job seekers; employment service agencies; community agencies; Indigenous public administration and agencies; Northwestern Polytechnic; Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce; local municipal governments; and the provincial government.

Background research informing the Regional Workforce Development Strategy includes the following public documents available at grandeprairiechamber.com/labour-market-study:

(1) Regional Labour Market Needs Assessment Executive Summary; (2) Target Sector Study; and (3) Sector Profiles.

What challenges are driving these initiatives?

The region’s labour market challenges are hampering sustainable business growth and stalling the development of a healthy, sustainable economy. Challenges include: a shifting and evolving economic climate; skilled labour shortages; the need for better current and future labour market data and trends; recruitment, retention and succession challenges; and the need for a coordinated approach to address labour market development.

How can I learn more?

Visit: grandeprairiechamber.com/labour-market-study