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Blackfalds

Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake, and Red Deer County team up with City of Red Deer to attract employers

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A joint communication from the Town of Blackfalds, the Town of Sylvan Lake, the County of Red Deer, and the City of Red Deer

Regional Approach to Economic Development Revealed

A new Regional Labour Force Profile has been developed for central Alberta as a collaborative effort by the Town of Blackfalds, the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, the Town of Sylvan Lake and the Province of Alberta – Ministry of Labour and Immigration.

Labour Force Profile

The profile will provide superior labour force information to businesses that are considering growth, expansion, or new development or markets, as well as to prospective entrepreneurs and companies thinking of locating in or starting up in the region.

We can better support and encourage appropriate workforce development intiaitives when we work together. In this case each of the four communities contributed $4,000 to the project to match the funds secured through the provincial Labour Market Partnership Program (LMP).”Jennifer Hartigh, Project Lead

Having accurate and up-to-date labour information is often a key factor when new employers are choosing locations, or when existing employers want to expand. We’re pleased to be able to partner with municipalities to help provide this critical intelligence for central Alberta as part of our commitment to create jobs and expand our economy.”
Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration

The area that the four communities represent accounts for 226,396 Albertans, 68% of whom are of working age. This Regional Labour Profile is an important resource to help the region continue to grow, and sustain both the businesses, and families, that call this region ‘home’.

Please refer to the attached Regional Profile for detailed information.

BACKGROUNDER

  • In 2018, Economic Development Officers from the communities of Blackfalds, Red Deer, SylvanLake and Red Deer County approached the provincial Ministry of Labour to partner on a project resulting in the creation of a Regional Labour Force Profile. The communities were lacking in- depth and current data to share with businesses interested in expanding or diversifying or for investors, educational institutes, and entrepreneurs to use in creating and forecasting business plan development.
  • In late 2018, the Ministry of Labour awarded an LMP grant to the Town of Blackfalds, as the project leader and administrator.
  • Each partnering municipality contributed $4,000 toward the project, and by doing so was able to leverage $31,250 in LMP funding from the Province of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
  • Data for the Regional Labour Profile was acquired from several sources, including: 2001 to 2016 federal Census from Statistics Canada, the Canadian Business Registry – 2013 and 2018, SuperDemographics 2018 from Manifold Data Mining Inc., EMSI Analyst 2018 Q3, and local municipal census data as available. Consultation with relevant stakeholders also informed the information included in the Regional Labour Profile.
  • Conversations with representatives from Olds College, Red Deer College, Burman University, Express Employment, and Manpower were used to confirm the skills and labour data acquired, and also to uncover opportunities to develop new programming to meet the needs of the regional business community.

Region At A Glance

  • The region accounts for 226,396 Albertans, of whom 68% are of working age (15 to 64).
  • Residents have an average employment income slightly lower than the provincial figure (-4%); however, more than half of the population between the ages of 25 to 64 has completed some form of post secondary education.
  • The regional economy, which grew by 5% between 2013 and 2018, sustains over 119,000 jobs. The region boasts a higher participation and employment rate compared to the rest of the province.
  • When looking at the number of jobs versus the number of workers in the region, a large surplus of workers was found within the following occupational groups:
  • o trades,
    o transport and equipment operators
    o management,
    o education,
    o law, social, community and government services.
  • Residents with the skills and talent to work in these occupations may work outside the region. Conversely, the region has a gap of approximately 270 workers to support natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations. This gap is likely filled by workers coming in from outside of the region.Attached you will find the Regional Labour Profile. For local profiles, contact the municipalities directly.
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Blackfalds

Town of Blackfalds to twin Multi-Plex and build new library

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From the Town of Blackfalds: Multi-Plex Arena Expansion

The 2015 Recreation, Culture, and Parks Needs Assessment and Master Plan identified the need for an additional ice surface.

» Many similar sized communities have a twin arena.
» An additional ice sheet would address capacity and demand issues.

The 2018 Civic Facilities Development Strategy and Master Plan recommended:

» Planning for an expansion to the Multi-Plex to include additional indoor ice.
» Development of a larger library to support a larger and growing community.

In the development of this facility concept there have been meetings with the Recreation, Culture, and Parks Board; the Library Board; and the Dual Ice Development Society. Facility tours in Red Deer, Calgary, and Okotoks were conducted with the architect (ACI Architects), Town Council, and Town Administration.

The Town’s 10 Year Capital Plan includes construction for the ice sheet to start in 2021 and the library in 2024.The Town is proposing to expand the Multi-Plex arena. The project is proposed as two phases, with the rink being done in 2021 ($15 million budgeted), and the library in 2024 ($4 million budgeted).

See the draft renderings from ACI Architects that were showcased during the April 17 Open House.

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Blackfalds

Blackfalds is spending $2,000 per resident to expand Multi-Plex and Library… Will Red Deer “bite the bullet” to compete?

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Submitted by Opinion Blogger Garfield Marks

July 3 2019, and the town of Blackfalds announced they are expediting  moving forward on twinning their Multi-Plex to the tune of $15 million, and $5 million to expand their library. This is only a few years after opening their $15 million Abbey Centre. 
Blackfalds moved construction up a few years to avail themselves of economic savings. Construction costs are down while the industry has slowed and the residents will save money.
Granted it is still $2,000 per resident as Blackfalds only has 10,000 +/- residents.
The city of Red Deer is delaying discussing building an Aquatic Centre, 18 years after opening the Collicutt Centre.
Blackfalds, population of 10,400 will spend $1,500 per person twinning their multi-plex just a few short years after spending $2,000 per person on the Abbey Centre. $500 per resident on the library.
2013 population of Blackfalds was around 7,500.
In just a few years Blackfalds is committing about $4,000 per resident on recreational facilities.
Red Deer, population 101,002 is looking at spending less than $1,000 per resident on recreational facilities in decades.
Blackfalds was named the fastest growing city by population in Canada.
Red Deer is stagnant in population, increasing by only 1% in the last 3 years.
Red Deer needs to build an Aquatic Centre with a 50m pool. Red Deer is in need of a new multi-plex. Red Deer has a shortage of recreational facilities north of the river. Red Deer is in need of an identity.
Red Deer is afraid of investing in itself. The price of $100 million is high and can be lowered, but if the price was $101 million it  would be only $1,000 per resident. Blackfalds had a population of 6,500 when it started building the Abbey Centre, or $2300 per resident. Now a few years after opening they are investing another $1500 per resident in twinning their multi-plex.
Red Deer is abdicating it’s leadership role in Central Alberta. Penhold, Sylvan Lake and Blackfalds have all invested in their recreational facilities in recent years and have maintained population growth while Red Deer has ceased investing in new facilities, and seen a decline in population.
I would suggest that we bite the bullet, proceed with an Aquatic Centre that can hold provincial and national competitions and attract tourist and investment dollars. Build it north of the river by Hazlett Lake and offset the costs with sponsorships, like we did with the Collicutt Centre. 
Or we can just welcome mediocrity and obscurity.
Just saying.

Garfield Marks

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july, 2019

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