On Wednesday, November 7th , Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) hosted its third annual Industry Breakfast at Montgomery Glen’s Club House in Wetaskiwin. Even though there were blizzard-like conditions outside, more than 44 representatives of local industry, business and agencies, Chambers of Commerce, municipalities and economic development offices made the trip to The Glens Grill to learn more about how each of them might benefit from the “current strategic direction” of Port Alberta. Wendy Cooper, President and CEO of Port Alberta inspired many new thoughts and ideas.
Ms. Cooper provided an overview of Port Alberta and outlined the organization’s current strategic direction to enhance transportation logistics (management of the flow of resources/commodities between the point of origin and the point of destination) in coming into and out of the greater Edmonton area. Ms. Cooper exclaimed, "Port Alberta is determined to uncover the region's strengths and build on them. We all need to work together to understand the vast opportunity that lies here and promote it. Working together, as partners, with the region's municipalities is how we'll get there."
Welcoming the guests was Edie Spagrud, newly appointed Director of Economic Development for JEDI, a unique economic development partnership between the Town of Millet, the City of Wetaskiwin and the County of Wetaskiwin. JEDI was created to increase capacity for investment and industrial development in the region.
JEDI is a member of Port Alberta and will be collaborating with stakeholders to help create greater capacity for industrial/business growth as related to more efficient transportation of goods and commodities via air, rail and road systems. Edie was encouraged by the comments of guest speaker, Ms. Cooper. Given her background as Chief Executive Officer of four regional economic development organizations and her experience as an economic development practitioner that has included her working with a broad spectrum of industries and business, Edie was inspired by the opportunities that could evolve from working with Port Alberta.
Ms. Spagrud sees potential for a partnership between Port Alberta and JEDI. “Port Alberta is not about bricks and mortar but more about a network of private and private sector representatives with a vested interest in improving transportation logistics for goods/commodities coming into the greater Edmonton area and going on to the north or west to coastal ports and overseas markets.”
Attendees seemed very responsive to the Port Alberta concept. Among the attendees was Camrose Mayor Marshall Chalmers who said, “I was very impressed with the presentation and firmly believe that the City of Camrose needs to join Port Alberta.”