The economic state of Castlegar & District

A look at the themes discussed at the State of the Kootenays: An Economic Update

Castlegar’s first economic forum featured four panelists from various local industries. Each had a different background and area of expertise, however similar themes appeared across their speeches. Speakers included: Keynote speaker economist Helmut Pastrick from Central 1 Credit Union; Angus Graeme, president of Selkirk College; Pilar Portela, CEO of i4C Innovation; and Ken Kalesnikoff with Kalesnikoff Lumber.

Collaboration

Pastrick: “Support the whole Kootenays — east and west, and the Boundary region — and allow us to do a lot more together than we can as individuals.”

Graeme: “The more ways in which we can bring employers and businesses in to the college to talk to the students, share some of the local problems, open that up to creative solutions, the better.”

Portela: “Academia, industry, non-profits coming together to solve larger issues through extreme collaboration.”

Kalesnikoff: “We [should] see people working together and figuring out a balance. We accomplish more working together.”

Nurturing Business

Pastrick: “Using local resources, including people, is associated with faster, stronger economic development.”

Graeme: “A healthy business environment plus education is a great equation. We can work together to solve problems, innovate, add value to other businesses.”

Portela: “Change happens faster today than 20 years ago. Jobs now won’t be what they are later. What do we need to still be active and affecting the economy in the future?”

Kalesnikoff: “Entrepreneurs need guidance. If the support is there … they will stay here and so will the jobs.”

Technology

Pastrick: “5G! It’s coming and it will be very necessary — install it, facilitate it.”

Graeme: “We see innovative and creative young people.”

Portela: “Industry 4.0 will be worth $3.7 trillion in value by 2025. We need technological diversification. Adopt it now, at scale, across the whole ecosystem.”

Kalesnikoff: “We have continuously invested in tech to stay competitive and flexible. We have high-tech equipment, higher skilled positions that are well paid.”

Global Thinking

Pastrick: “One challenge for the Kootenays is accessibility. I flew in through Trail and before I left Vancouver they said ‘well, there might be a fog issue. We might have to be diverted to Castlegar, or back to Vancouver.’ We need better infrastructure, better transportation options.”

Graeme: “The new generation is not as limited in their thinking. They think more globally, engage through tech. They’re already thinking of ways to bring the world here and put here out into the world.”

Portela: “We are seen as rural from within and without, seen as a resource economy only. We must be more than that.”

Kalesnikoff: “In Japan and Europe they have houses built in factories, computerized to the nth degree. They’re very well built. Housing could be more affordable if [houses here] were done that way.”

Population

Pastrick: “It’s difficult to keep young people here. There aren’t enough job opportunities for those graduating.”

Graeme: “There will be 24,000 job openings in this region when boomers are out of the workplace.”

Portela: “Immigrants create jobs and businesses.”

Kalesnikoff: “We’ve got to be engaging the youth — get through to them on how technical and rewarding our industry is — get them into these jobs.”

 

Just Posted

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Close to 1000 people expected to hear international evangelist Angus Buchan this weekend

The Mighty Men’s Conference is taking place in Castlegar June 28-30.

PHOTOS: Canadian National Peony Show this weekend in Castlegar

A glimpse of what is happening at the Community Complex this weekend.

Students learn about making a difference

Girl’s leadership program bears fruit at Kinnaird Elementary

Three times the love: Identical triplets return home to Nelson

Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail last month

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

Most Read