Breakfast with Bell
The Comox Valley has a demographic problem that's impacting the local economy.
"We have this huge gap [in the workforce] with 20 to 40 year old's leaving the Comox Valley and we really need to start thinking about how we can keep people in the valley and how we can change that," says Dianne Hawkins, president of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce.
To get the ball rolling, Hawkins invited BC Jobs Minister Pat Bell to speak to the Comox Valley's business community Tuesday morning.
"I believe that he has some great ideas," says Hawkins. "The BC Jobs Plan has been designed to be strategic and create competitive advantages for communities, so we'd like to be a part of that."
In his speech Minister Bell highlighted the importance of competitive advantage. "Companies that excel over a long period of time, all focused their efforts on a couple of core businesses where they have a unique advantage, and divest themselves in areas they found more challenging to compete."
A 2002 report by David Baxter from the Urban Development Institute, looked at the province's economy and it found the driving force behind the economy in B.C. was rural communities."Particularly the natural resource or export based or first dollar sectors is what really drives the economy."
"Working with communities to understand what there goals and objectives are." Bell added "talking with the community and understanding what the key initiatives are that they believe they can build the foundation of their economy on and create sustainable growth."
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