The International Ambassadors Program is back in the business of attracting business.
Launched about three years ago, the program was created to support Central Alberta: Access Prosperity in its mandate of supporting local businesses, attracting investment from international businesses, and promoting business-to-business relationships that benefit the region.
Members included business and industry leaders from Central Alberta.
Danielle Klooster, business retention, expansion and investment officer with Central Alberta: Access Prosperity, said the ambassadors were encouraged to promote this region when travelling and interacting with other business people, and to assist new and prospective investors and businesses here.
Central Alberta: Access Prosperity has been using the ambassadors as resource people, but the program became inactive, she said.
A meeting held Tuesday at Red Deer College was intended to breathe new life into the International Ambassadors Program.
About 15 people participated in a discussion about the program and what it should do.
These included consultants, realtors, municipal representatives, engineers and manufacturers, said Klooster, adding that about a half-dozen others who didn’t attend expressed interest in joining the group.
“I was seriously impressed with the work they did this morning, in terms of coming up with what they want and how they want it to look . . . and their commitment to working to grow the Central Alberta economic pie,” she said.
Specifically, said Klooster, the group agreed to meet every second month. They want to discuss issues of local importance and to be informed about economic happenings in the region.
“One of the things that they talked about this morning, that I thought was really critical, was the issue of our skills deficit and our need to attract labour.”
The group also discussed the value of networking with and supporting new businesses.
Klooster said the International Ambassadors Program can provide credibility when efforts are being made to woo prospective investors and business people to this region.
Participants benefit from their involvement, she said, including the opportunity to network with and do business with those contemplating an investment or business in Central Alberta, and with other ambassadors as well.
“They develop their own sort of community.”
Central Alberta: Access Prosperity is a partnership involving Red Deer Regional Economic Development and Central Alberta Economic Partnership, with the former organization an alliance of the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and Red Deer College.
Anyone interested in learning more about the International Ambassadors Program or getting involved can contact Klooster at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403-356-4932.