CAEP at a Glance
- Member Communities 35
- Area 41,159 km2
- Population 312,700
- Major Projects Value $2.5 billion
- Number of Businesses 11,665
- Key Industries Agriculture/Agri-foods, Energy, Manufacturing, Petrochemicals, Tourism, Transportation
- Website InvestCentralAlberta.ca
Source: Government of Alberta, CAEP
The COVID-19 pandemic completely transformed the way we live and do business.
“Business desperately needed to understand how to survive our new reality,” says Central Alberta Economic Partnership’s (CAEP) executive director, Kimberley Worthington. Recognizing the urgent need for change, four economic development agencies — CAEP, Community Futures Central Alberta, Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network and Central Alberta Access Prosperity — teamed with the City of Red Deer and the private sector to initiate an innovative program for commercial and industrial renewal.
The virtual program, Regional Resilience, provided real-time information on government supports and allowed participants to connect with industry-specific associations and experts who guided them through the “new normal” created by the pandemic.
At the end of 10 months, the initiative had touched over 600 people from both the private and public sectors, and was a resounding success. “Businesses learned to utilize technology and reduce their physical overhead,” says Worthington, “and the downtown business community is learning it needs to create new kinds of spaces for communities to gather.”
At the heart of these innovations, as stated by Worthington, is the fundamental lesson that “on all levels, collaboration and inclusive perspectives will drive successful communities and move us all forward.”