2017 Was A Banner Year For Local Economic Development

Monday, June 25, 2018

CKLW AM800 News/PAUL PEDRO

 

The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation had a good year last year.

CEO Stephen MacKenzie says the region had nearly $184-million in new investment from 162 business expansions and attractions. That is a 75% increase from the previous year.

MacKenzie says the investment led to almost 1,600 new jobs, and 132 startups; a 32% jump over 2016. He says 11 new companies also moved to the area creating 323 jobs.

MacKenzie says he’s pleased with the numbers, but won’t rest on the recent successes.

“Business attraction pipeline, we have a number of companies in it in various stages. It has slowed some with the international uncertainty,” says MacKenzie.

Expansions came from Nemak, Cavalier Tool, Reko International and Toolplas to name a few.

New companies include information and communications technology, transportation logistics, and a couple of machine, tool, die and mold companies moving from the U.S.

The development corporation also had trade missions with Portugal and Mexico last year.

MacKenzie says the challenges continue to be attracting skilled labour and millennials because of all the anticipated retirements over the next few years, and creating the jobs that have not even been invented yet.

MacKenzie says recent U.S. policies have created some opportunities for attracting new business.

“It’s the sectors you would expect for our region. Advanced manufacturing, building and construction products. We have a couple of big capital projects on the horizon here with the bridge, plus the mega-hospital,” he says.

MacKenzie says the development corporation has been helping a lot of entrepreneurs lately.

“It’s been steady, our economy has been booming, and the number of entrepreneurs coming to see us has been booming. How many will end up successful, we don’t know, but our efforts won’t let off one bit, I can guarantee that, MacKenzie said.”