Facebook icon Twitter icon

Welcome - Issue 28

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! Have comments or questions about EconomicDevelopment.org? Send us an email. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest.

Happy reading!

 - The EconomicDevelopment.org Team

Become a contributors

We always welcome new voices and perspectives on economic development, workforce development, cultural development and related fields.

Contact us at connect@economicdevelopment.org to find out more about becoming a contributor or suggest a topic.

Why your print newsletter is wasting valuable dollars

Smart piggy bank

By Karolyn Hart

What was the first thing you did this morning when you woke up? If you are like 80% of smartphone users you likely checked your phone before you even brushed your teeth (IDC Research). Over the last several years mobile has aggressively grown. As of January 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone (Pew Research, 2014). This might explain why a 2014 Forbes article was entitled Mobile is the Future of Everything.

In 2015, mobile media overtook desktop and other traditional media as the preferred source (Smart Insights, 2015). The mobile future is certainly exciting, and one of the most fascinating developments is that it no longer exclusively belongs to the younger generations.

Read more

The Higher ED Blog: One community’s failed attempt to engage youth, and how it rallied

Butterfly on a plant

By Michelle Madden

It is well known among economic developers that youth are important to a community. Like other migratory creatures, a strong presence indicates an ecosystem in bloom, while their departure is a sign that the community is going into hibernation. Most rural areas are familiar with this problem and taking steps to retain and attract youth. However, figuring out the right way to address the problem is a challenge.

Lyndsay Tee, the Economic Development Coordinator for the Town of Greater Napanee, recently submitted a paper on youth engagement to the University of Waterloo’s Economic Development Program. She profiled an unnamed community’s efforts to meaningfully engage high schoolers in community development. Their challenge, eventual success, and ensuing recommendations may be informative for municipal governments in a similar situation.

Read more

Canada’s Intelligent success in economic development

Vancouver harbour and skyline

By John Jung

Cities and towns face an onslaught of challenges that can threaten a community’s very survival and determine whether a community is truly liveable. The 18th annual Mercer Quality of Life ranking, released in February 2016, notes Canada is one of the most successful nations in creating communities with a high quality of life. One common factor among all of the Canadian communities on the Mercer list is that each one is also recognized by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) as an Intelligent Community.

Mercer 2016 Quality of Living List – Canadian Communities

Vancouver – 5th, and Intelligent Community in 2008
Toronto – 15th, and the World’s Intelligent Community of the Year 2014
Ottawa  – 17th, and Intelligent Community in 2016, 2010 and 2007
Montréal – 23rd and Intelligent Community in 2016 and 2014
Calgary  – 32nd, and the World’s Intelligent Community of the year 2002

Read more

The Higher ED Blog: Is Economic Development 9 to 5 or 24/7?

Clock showing time against a white background

By Jennifer Schnier

Those that work in economic development are nimble, creative, social, engaging, and multi-tasking individuals with exceptional communication and presentation skills. They’re also passionate about community development.

Economic developers are professionals (many accredited) who have contributed to the revitalization of communities in Ontario. Generally, their job is to nurture, retain, attract, and advocate on behalf of business. More specifically, this might mean providing support to new business owners, yet it might also mean marketing their community to prospective business developers, investors, and residents. The end goal is to create and lead projects that improve local quality of life, and to develop strategies and policies or deliver programs that support the above activities.

Read more

[Statistical] Thoughts on recruiting seniors as economic development

Middle-aged couple walks through a park

By David Clark

What follows is not a prediction of what will happen, but rather a message of caution that we need to look deeper than what appears, on the surface, to make common sense: that recruiting seniors is a sound economic development strategy. Maybe it is not.

We know that Canada has a growing “senior” population both in absolute numbers and as a proportion of the population. In 1996, the senior population was 12.2%, 2001 it had grown to 13.0%, in 2006 to 13.7%, and 14.1% in 2011. Ontario, the study area for this article, has shown a similar pattern, growing from 12.9% in 1996 to 14.6% in 2011.

Ontario’s senior population has grown, in absolute numbers, from 1.3 million in 1996 to 1.9 million in 2011, an increase of 40.7%. In 1981 the senior population was 868,000, or 10.0% of the population.

Read more

The Higher ED Blog: Elliot Lake’s other economic development success story

View of a lake from a cottage

By Michelle Madden

For 40 years, Elliot Lake was famous for one thing: uranium mining. After the discovery of a massive deposit of uranium ore in the early 1950s, it quickly grew from a small logging settlement to an industry town. The mining companies built thousands of homes to accommodate miners and their families. At its peak in 1981, Elliot Lake had a population of about 20,000.

When the last mines closed in the 1990s, the provincial government projected that the population would decline to 500 if the jobs were not replaced. Refusing to become a ghost town, the local government pivoted and decided to cater to low and middle income retirees from Southern Ontario. It donated a quarter of its total housing stock to a not-profit corporation, Elliot Lake Retirement Living, which has been successfully renting and selling units ever since.

Read more