The City of St. Albert’s newly adopted Municipal Development Plan (Flourish) approved by Council in April 2021, underscored a city-wide plan for growth, forecasting up to 13,000 new jobs over the coming decades, with renewed investment attraction strategies being a fundamental element of success. With strategic growth in mind, the Economic Development team identified six target industries for business and investment that would maximize attraction and employment growth efforts. These areas were Agri-Business, Clean Technology, Health & Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics and Construction.
Sector profile materials were developed to provide St. Albert’s investment team with a tool that would showcase the six target sectors, each promoting locational advantages, availability of workforce, education levels, transportation infrastructure and positive economic impacts, while strategically promoting the City’s competitive position, both regionally and nationally in these industrial sectors. Target audiences for these tools included site selectors, and investment and brokerage firms, both regionally and internationally.
Showcasing key local employers and highlighting the value they bring to the community and region within each target sector, emphasizes their importance in attracting similar interest for business and investment to St. Albert. It demonstrated that St. Albert has successful businesses that support these industries which will further encourage employment growth. Taking a targeted approach to I&A is a new strategy for St. Albert. Until now the City was overlooked by businesses looking for industrial space in the Edmonton Metro Region. With new industrial investment over the past five years in St. Albert, and expediated municipal processes, the City needed to capitalize on renewed business interests, with a shift in strategies that are integral to Industrial development successes. Focusing on and marketing key target sectors allowed the St. Albert Economic Development team to streamline their messaging and home in on industry specific opportunities.
These sector profile tools have been promoted in many ways, including the City’s Economic Development webpages, posted and shared on LinkedIn networks and, most effectively, at the ICSC Conference in Whistler, BC where a target audience of over 2,000 attendees had access to this new resource. Since the creation and marketing of these investment materials, the City has seen an uptick in investment inquiries specific to the focus sectors, and aided in the attraction of two significant distribution companies, namely OK Tire (Western Canadian Distribution Centre), and Dura-Line (Western Canada Division), a global producer of high-density polyethylene conduit. Collectively they have secured close to 350,000 square feet of warehouse space, will generate over $30 million in investment and over 200 jobs in the City and show the positive impact renewed investment and attraction resources can have on a communities appeal.
Profile Sector Publications – https://stalbert.ca/dev/business/property/sectors/