As the New Year begins in earnest, it’s worth re-visiting the 2015 based issues and topics of importance to our Peninsula Manufacturing Industry as represented by the Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group (SNSIG).
- Skills Trades related issues. This is a business critical activity that we must substantially address in this New Year. Some of our strategies include taking advantage of the recently announced Canada-BC Job Grant (http://www.workbc.ca/canadabcjobgrant), reaching into the local High Schools to encourage manufacturing based employment training, developing an inventory of case study based digital podcasts illustrating the challenges companies face and understanding the new employment immigration rules recently announced by the Province. An interesting idea brought forward was the establishment of a skills based database for a career retired but not “work” retired individual. Generally this idea would refer to a person in their late 50’s or 60’s who could help with the local skills shortages by being available part-time. Not all of the answers to these local skills trade shortages have to be solved by a younger generation.
- Municipal Services. There is an enhanced requirement to address municipal based amenities, i.e., parking, sidewalks, taxation etc. in the Sidney Industrial District. We will work pro-actively and collaboratively with local councils regarding these issues. Included in this area of activity are airport property related assessments and amenities.
- Affordable Workforce Housing. This is an issue that continues to require constant rigor and attention. It also requires regional solutions beyond the Peninsula based municipalities. Since the November 2015 election we’ve had discussions regarding this issue with new Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor. Both recognize the need to try and address regional Affordable Workforce Housing inventory. There is increasing attention being directed towards building the case that Victoria’s Rock Bay district could solve some of the housing related challenges for the region – the link to that initial discussion paper is located @ https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rock-bay-urban-development-downtown-business-paper-john-juricic