Economic Development Strategy update approved by Council
Orangeville Council has adopted a new Economic Development Strategy for the Town of Orangeville. The plan provides an overview of the community based on the updated 2016 Census Canada data and sets out key economic development roles and actions to help move economic development forward over the next several years.
A comparison of the 2011 and 2016 Census data demonstrates that the Town has made positive progress in the past five years. Housing approximately 66% of total jobs in Dufferin County, job growth in Orangeville during the last Census period was more than double the Town’s population growth. Jobs in Orangeville grew by 7.9% from 2011 to 2016 (1,175 new jobs), exceeding the average provincial growth rate of 6.6%. Growth in Orangeville’s manufacturing sector particularly stood out with job growth of 18.8%, compared to less than 1% in Ontario. Orangeville also has enough jobs for approximately 96% of its total labour force, an increase from 2011 and the number of people working in Orangeville increased by approximately 6%. Still, commuting patterns out of Orangeville remain high and will be one area of focus for the upcoming period.
Recommended actions were made across six focus areas that included framework issues, business retention and expansion, innovation & entrepreneurship, attracting new investment, talent and workforce development, and marketing Orangeville to attract investors, tourists and talent, including the development of a new tourism strategy. The Economic Development office begin implementing the strategy immediately.
With workforce development front of mind, the Economic Development office will deliver its second Orangeville & Area Job Fair on May 2. The event will be held from 3-7 p.m. at Best Western Orangeville and with 33 participating employers, booths are now sold out. The job fair will feature varied job opportunities that are available in the community to job seekers and commuters.
With the goal of attracting and supporting a strong cultural sector, the office will host a lunch and learn for cultural entrepreneurs on April 25. The event will feature Mag Ruffman, a successful actress, entrepreneur and producer, who will share her guidance and advice on how to sustain creativity under pressure.
An application for partnership funding has been made to Central Counties Tourism Association to support the 2018 Way-finding signage program and, in turn, help to promote local tourism initiatives.
In support of the new Economic Development Strategy and the Town’s Strategic Plan, staff are drafting a RFP for the development of the Town’s first Sustainability Plan. If a funding application for this initiative moves forward, completion of the Sustainability Plan will be launched later this spring and overseen by the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team.
To review the full Economic Development Strategy update, please visit orangevillebusiness.ca.