The City of Terrace was one of several local governments to be honoured as part of an award for the Northwest BC Workforce and Resident Attraction Initiative (WARA) at this year’s BC Economic Development Awards. The WARA team included the City of Terrace, District of Kitimat, City of Prince Rupert, Village of Hazelton, District of New Hazelton, and Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine. The group was awarded with the Economic Development Marketing Innovation Award in the over-20,000 population category, which recognizes achievement in marketing initiatives that support economic development.
The partners came together to address an urgent need for talent attraction supports, as shown through their own research and supplemented with a labour market study done by the Kitimat Valley Institute. Recognizing the need to pool resources and grow recognition of the region throughout the province and the country to combat the fly-in-fly-out mentality of a portion of the workforce, the partners worked together to leverage grant funding to kickstart and fund the multi-year project.
Guided by key employer surveys and a research-based marketing plan, the WARA project started with primary market research to understand the demographics most likely to move to northwest BC, their motivations, and the misconceptions they had of the region. From there, the team developed assets employers needed most for their recruitment efforts, like the Live Northwest BC website, community profiles, maps, videos and images, and brochures. To give the region an added boost to its awareness, the team successfully ran the “What’s Holding You Back?” campaign on digital and social platforms, which resulted in millions of people reached and tens of thousands actively learning more about the region and its opportunities. Since its launch, the project has supported major employers like the Coast Mountain School District, MNP, Coastal GasLink, and LNG Canada in their recruitment efforts.
“It’s exciting to see our partnership recognized for the hard work put in over the past few years to support the employers in the region. We were able to work together and create much-needed, high-quality resources that truly capture the opportunity and beauty in the area. We’re up for the task of helping employers of all sizes and sectors find people to not only fill job vacancies, but also fill a role in their community and call northwest BC ‘home.’” – Carol Leclerc, Mayor of Terrace
“This initiative is a wonderful example of our communities working together to address a crucial need. I am proud that we could be a part of this award-winning project to support the growth of our region’s workforce and really emphasize why our region is a wonderful place to work and live.” – Phil Germuth, Mayor of Kitimat and Board Chair for Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine
“For the Northwest to prosper, collectively and individually, as communities we have all been working on getting the word out about the economic potential here. Attraction and retention was identified as a key goal of our 2030 Vision process, and will continue to be a priority in the years to come. We’re grateful for the assets that were developed as part of this program and look forward to seeing this work continue to pay dividends for our recruitment efforts.” – Lee Brain, Mayor of Prince Rupert
To see elements of the completed project, visit https://www.livenorthwestbc.ca/.