Initiatives Prince George will be spending the $418,000 it received in federal funding to begin a trades and investment program for the city.
“The trades and investment program fits into our overall business retention and expansion program delivery, which is one of the key areas for our 2012 business plan,” Heather Oland, IPG CEO said.
The money will fund the three-year trades and investments program, which is currently in its first phase.
“We are already engaged in interviewing about 135 local firms in our core sectors,” Oland said.
These include oil and gas, mining, forestry and transportation.
“We are finding out what their export plans and growth plans are so we can work with them and help connect them with some of the very large companies coming into northern B.C., mostly through procurement,” she said. “We can’t sell Prince George companies for all the resource work if we don’t know what they’re capable of and what their intentions are.”
IPG will use the directory as a marketing tool so the large incoming firms know what the extent of local capacity is.
“This allows the supply chain to be more robust and gives everybody more options and opportunities to compete for that work, so it allows as much of that work to be as regional and local as possible,” Oland said.
The plan, she added, is to begin leveraging the federal money back by offering training opportunities, workshops and forums which companies will pay to attend.