Tumbler Ridge Visioning and Labour Market Planning Project

Event

The Final Project Report was presented to the public at the Tumbler Ridge Community Centre March 15, 2006.

Context

The initiating Project Partners are five community agencies who work toward improving the economic circumstances, employment opportunities, training and education, and social life in Tumbler Ridge.

?Northern Lights College (TR Campus)

?Tumbler Ridge Employment Needs Development Services (TRENDS)

?The District of Tumbler Ridge, Economic Development Department

?Tumbler Ridge Senior Secondary School

?The Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council (TRCAC)

In light of significant recent and ongoing changes in the local economy and population, the Partners collaborated to initiate the Project. They were seeking information to assist them in reviewing and updating their programs and services. To finance the Project, they secured a federal funding contribution through Services Canada.

The Partners had three primary questions to answer: Who is in their newly repopulated community? What do the residents want Tumbler Ridge to look like in the future? How can they work with residents to develop the community and help protect it from returning to a boom-or-bust reliance on a single resource industry?

A series of visioning focus group workshops, a resident survey representing over half the households in Tumbler Ridge, and a survey of 30 widely varied employers resulted in a formalized Community Vision for the future and detailed input from current residents and employers that strongly supports and validates the Vision statements.

Key Recommendations

Although exploration and development in the coal and oil and gas industries is stimulating the local economy today, current residents in Tumbler Ridge want more economic stability than the fossil fuel industries can provide. They realize the importance of a broadly diverse economic base and would like to add more tourism, light manufacturing, industry service businesses, and other forms of commerce, such as internet-based businesses. They also want to attract more population, including people who can bring outside sources of wealth to the community, for example, retirees and creative entrepreneurs who want to live in a place like Tumbler Ridge.

An effective labour market development strategy for Tumbler Ridge requires creating new housing and making the community more attractive to people of all ages, with varied experience and interests. Employees and their families will not move to Tumbler Ridge if they cannot find homes to live in and widely varied lifestyle amenities.

Vacationers and business travellers need more places to stay, along with convenient access to many interesting sites to experience and enjoy in town and the surrounding wilderness. The plans for the Tumbler Ridge Museum will turn Tumbler Ridge into a tourism destination.

Website and other Report Locations

The full final report, along with other information on the Project, is available on the Project website, www.trfuture.org The report was posted on March 9, 2006, and can be downloaded in full or by section. Printed copies of all sections of the report are also available through the Project Partners? offices (see Context above). The sections are: Executive Summary, Introduction, Resident Survey Report, Business Survey Report, Non-Resident Property Owner Survey, Community Focus Group Idea Listing, Obstacles Listing from Community Focus Groups, Strategic Directions Listing from Community Focus Groups For further information, please contact Duncan Holmes, Project Coordinator, ICA Associates, Inc., at 877-691-1422 or dholmes@ica-associates.ca, or call Ryan Murray, Local Project Administrator, at Northern Lights College (TR Campus) at 250-242-5591.