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Numerous officials address worker attraction and retention at 2024 State of the City event

The City of Grande Prairie addressed residents on March 26th at the 2024 State of the City event regarding key priorities of numerous city and commercial entities.

The discussion featured four panelists from Northwestern Polytechnic, the Grande Prairie Police Service, the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Grande Prairie, who discussed their successes in 2023 and areas of improvement for 2024.

Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton says she was excited to hear from some of the city’s biggest resources with a focus on economic development in the Grande Prairie region.

“I think today was a great opportunity to hear from leaders of organizations other than the city, in my opinion, you hear a lot from the city of Grande Prairie,” she says. “Sometimes you may not be on the path to receive information about other great organizations, so today was an opportunity to show the incredible things that they’re doing.”

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Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce CEO Tanya Oliver was in attendance and joined the other panelists in the discussion of employment opportunities in Grande Prairie. Mayor Clayton says hearing the commercial perspective on the status of economic growth and development in the city was a welcome addition to the conversation.

“They are the third largest chamber in Alberta and really with over 1,000 members, represent that business community,” she says.

Northwestern Polytechnic President and CEO Dr. Vanessa Sheane spoke on the panel as well, and Mayor Clayton says hearing the school’s priorities of gearing their programming to local in-demand training is a crucial step in economic development.

“Northwest Polytechnic, we know is on the horizon and continues to do incredible things, whether it’s through customizing trade opportunities, suiting industry and the region’s needs for trades development, working in the healthcare sector, or community needs.”

One topic of discussion that continued to be brought up throughout the event was the “attraction and retention” of workers in Grande Prairie. Mayor Clayton says the city has prioritized developing the workforce in the region through a number of projects including sporting events, and utilizing the strengths of the Peace Country as a way to attract more workers to the city.

“We want to use the strengths of this region and our communities and our city to highlight why you should move here, why you should consider moving to Grande Prairie and the region,” she says. “This is the northwest economic engine of Alberta, and so on a regular basis we want people to be aware of where the investment opportunity is, that means attracting labour and a workforce.”

Mayor Clayton adds that the State of the City event is another step in improving the communication line between residents and the city, and work to bring in new residents will continue this year.

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