A Red Deer area strategic alliance is intensifying its three-year effort to attract foreign transportation logistics, energy and agri-food processing companies.
Red Deer Regional Economic Development announced Wednesday that it will receive $180,000 in federal funding through the Rural Diversification Initiative to support the alliance’s goal to bring foreign direct investment.
The partnership involves the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and Red Deer College.
Cyril Cooper, land and economic development officer with the city, said consultants identified the three sectors as the best “bang for our buck.”
Cooper said they’d particularly like to see those businesses focused on technology and not so much those that manufacture. “It brings more white collar workers to our region, which stabilizes our economy,” he said. “Our economy won’t be so cyclical in nature.”
The funding allows the alliance to create and pursue between 50 and 100 qualified leads.
“Their plan is to target companies within Europe and the United States that will be of the most value to the region,” said Murray Berezowski, general manager of Community Futures Central Alberta, a non-profit economic development program.
Once they get the leads, Cooper said they’ll approach the companies.
“We’ll try to court them to come to our region,” Cooper said.
Community Futures Central Alberta, which is supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada, gives money for rural diversification projects, supplies resources for new product markets and encourages job creation.
The federal funding will be matched by Red Deer Regional Economic Development, which is providing $120,000. In total, it’s a $300,000 project over three years.
“We hope to see the fruits of our labour in about three years time,” Cooper said.