The City of Selkirk and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) are hosting a manufacturing roundtable next month and both see it as an opportunity to help grow and strengthen the Manitoba economy.
“CME has done a number of roundtables in Winnipeg and in Winkler and they approached the city about hosting this one and we believe it’s a really good thing. Leaders collaborate and recognize they can’t do everything alone,” said Tim Feduniw, Director of Sustainable Economic Development for Selkirk.
“For the city to work together with the manufacturing community in Selkirk and the surrounding area makes a ton of sense and we’re pretty excited about it. With CME we’ll be bringing the manufacturing community together to get a sense of where they are at and how we can work with them more effectively.”
CME is a national advocacy group, with headquarters in Winnipeg, that has worked for and with 2,500 leading manufacturers across the country, helping their businesses grow, overcoming challenges and maximizing opportunities.
“Selkirk is home to many leading manufacturers in the province, and as the backbone of the economy, manufacturing matters more now than ever, said Ron Koslowsky, Vice President, CME Manitoba.
“More than 63,800 employees work in the industry across all corners of the province. Alongside the City of Selkirk, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters looks forward to our upcoming roundtable, which will allow us to learn from one another, tap into the power of the network and support these firms as we navigate challenges and seize opportunities to compete on the world stage.”
Levering partnerships to be more effective with the manufacturing community
The roundtable will take place on Dec. 1 at the Selkirk Rec Complex and include CEOs, presidents and senior executives from up to 15 area manufacturers. Feduniw said capping attendance at 15 provides an intimate format that has proven to work well in the past.
Coming together in this way gives employers the opportunity to let the city and CME understand what’s working for them and where improvements could be made.
The city likes to take on the leadership role, Feduniw says, and this format facilitates that.
“This roundtable will be about understanding what the requirements are from a labour force development perspective so we can enhance what is currently happening, to understand what types of barriers are being placed, what advantages there are, and how we can actually leverage those in partnership with CME to be more effective with the manufacturing community’s interests,” Feduniw said.
Efforts like the roundtable and the other work the city has undertaken in recent years to attract businesses and investment into the city were part of the city’s vision when it established the Sustainable Economic Development team.
“We realized that you can’t wait for investment to just fall into your lap, you actually have to market your community and create and environment that is welcoming and supportive. Council is very proud of the work done over the past eight years to attract new development and economic growth. Its good for Selkirk and for the whole Interlake region,” said Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson.
Sustainability is defining Selkirk’s future
Selkirk has been known as an employment hub for the Interlake, but its reach has grown substantially in recent years and there’s plenty of reasons why. The city is committed to sustainability and links everything it does back to its Strategic Plan and its priorities, including having a strong and stable local economy, safe and sustainable infrastructure and a vibrant, safe and healthy community.
Its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, Capital Asset Management Strategy, GHG Accountability By-Law, and state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant all have played a role in expanding the city’s reach and Feduniw says it’s born out in numbers.
“We actually see way more people coming into Selkirk on a daily basis than we see leaving for work.. We are an employment center, and tools like this roundtable help us learn how can we become more effective and more aligned, if you may, with industry needs,” he said.
Feduniw also likes to say the impending arrival of sustainable industry like Charbone – who will build the province’s first green regional hub for the production and distribution of green hydrogen in Selkirk – and Canadian Premium Sand, who will bring North America’s only patterned solar glass plant to Selkirk next year, is in line with Selkirk’s future, but also its past.
“Sustainability is defining the City of Selkirk’s future, but the largest employer, who’s been here for over a century is Gerdau, and it’s a 100% recycling facility. That really fits Selkirk and what we’re doing as we build and we move forward,” Feduniw said.