We are at a critical juncture in Niagara’s economic development. Our region continues to deal with cyclical, high unemployment, particularly amongst our youth. There is a shortage of skilled labour in key sectors. And yet, changes that would give our businesses and economy a competitive edge, have been slow in coming.
Building Niagara — our community — is a shared responsibility. On Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 business and government leaders will gather at the Niagara Economic Summit, hosted by the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (NCOC), to formulate an ambitious plan for a stronger, more prosperous Niagara.
This year’s theme is Investing in Our Future and will tackle how to break down barriers to our economic success while building opportunities; improving infrastructure such as public transit; and finding returns in unlikely places by defining emerging industries and trends.
Investing in Our Future will cover all of these topics with engaging power talks to start the conversation, panel discussions to collaborate on solutions, and questions and comments from attendees to fuel the change we need. There will also be shorter sessions looking at issues such as hurdles facing women in leadership, and how to reduce poverty in the region.
The event includes what organizers describe as innovative and forward-thinking speakers including David Wolfe (co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs), Brock Dickinson (CEO of MDB Insight, a firm specializing in economic development) and Karl Bauldauf (vice-president of policy and government relations for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce) that will help stimulate discussion on Niagara-based solutions to move us forward.
“Investing in Our Future is based on our most rigorous consultations to date. Every participant is passionate about Niagara and wants to see it grow and prosper for generations to come,” says NCOC president and CEO Mishka Balsom. “Following the summit, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is committed to pursuing clear, attainable recommendations for Niagara governments and organizations to move us forward in the short and long term.”
The Niagara Economic Summit: Investing in Our Future takes place Oct. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa, 253 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake and includes breakfast and lunch.