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.”

economy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Kootenay teachers’ union going to labour relations board over COVID-19 related work conditions

Union issues open letter to premier, education minister, health minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

Rec commission applies for grant for Castlegar Community Complex upgrades

Arena roof repairs and fitness centre expansion included in proposal

Central Mountain Air to offer flights out of Castlegar

The company will be offering Castlegar to Vancouver flights October 1.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read