Building Local Government Capacity for Rural Economic Development
Funded by the Province of BC’s Rural Dividend Fund in 2019, the Local Government Economic Development Research and Capacity Building program is entering year two of regional-scale economic development initiative focused on business attraction, land development, and economic resilience. A total of $500,000 from the Province of BC was matched with $250,000 from Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary, and the Town of Golden. The Regional District of Central Kootenay applied on behalf of partners. Selkirk College’s Rural Development Institute is administering the program on behalf of the collaborative partnership. The program includes training, student internship opportunities, and direct research to support local government economic development decision-making.
The program provides funding support for learners as they participate in local government and economic development training. Local government MATI professional development training will be offered in partnership with the Local Government Management Association of BC, economic development certification training will be offered in partnership with the University of Waterloo, and Strategic Doing certification training will be offered in partnership with Purdue University.
Local Government Internship Program (LGIP)
Three (15 month) Local Government Internships eligible to recent graduates are being sponsored by the Regional District of East Kootenay, Regional District of Central Kootenay, and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary through an internship program modeled after internships supported by the Northern Development Trust. The internship program provides a high level of professional development and training that will prepare recent graduates for a career in local government (Learn more).
Economic Development Internship Program (EDIP)
In partnership with host economic development offices/agencies, the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Selkirk College administers the pilot Economic Development Internship Program. Three (4-month) Economic Development Internships will be sponsored from May to August 2020. One internship will be funded for each of the following regional districts: Regional District of East Kootenay, Regional District of Central Kootenay, and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (Learn more). Application guide and criteria can be accessed here. Economic development organizations are invited to submit applications by 4pm on March 20, 2020 here.
Research and Strategy
Readiness assessments are being conducted and strategic priorities are being set focused on the themes of business attraction, land development and economic resilience – including planning workshops and the development of nine sub-regional economic resilience plans in partnership with Simon Fraser University and Community Futures of Central Kootenay. In addition, Regional Districts and the Town of Golden are working with the RDI to address their priority research needs. Current research is focused on rural fire insurance, housing, climate adaptation, employment lands, and investment readiness.