Community Futures Central Kootenay is committed to increasing community and regional capacity through Community Economic Development (CED). We aim to nurture partnerships, inspire innovative thinking, develop best practice initiatives, and promote a healthy, vibrant economic future for our area.
Our Community Economic Development mandate is to:
- Increase capacity to the region;
- Foster community economic development partnerships;
- Provide leadership to our region;
- Provide programs to support community economic development such as business loans, self-employment, business training; and
- Enable communities to act on community economic development opportunities.
Initiatives and programs
Business Retention and Expansion
Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) is an action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. It promotes job growth by helping communities to learn about the concerns of, as well as opportunities for, local businesses and to set priorities for projects to address those needs. BRE research can take the form of a comprehensive community survey or smaller-scale business walks.
Strategic Doing enables people to form action-oriented collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes, and make adjustments along the way. It yields replicable, scalable, and sustainable collaborations based on simple rules. Community Futures Executive Director Andrea Wilkey is a trained strategic doing practitioner and has facilitated Strategic Doing sessions in Nelson and Castlegar. The Nelson Innovation Centre (below) was the outcome of a strategic doing collaboration.
Nelson Innovation Centre
An idea originally conceived in 2015, the Nelson Innovation Centre will help local entrepreneurs be world class innovators and disruptors by linking them to mentors, training, talent, investors, and community. A project feasibility study was completed in 2016. Since then, an advisory committee has been guiding the project with a goal to open in a physical location and begin offering programming in 2020.
The Intelligent Community Forum’s Awards program is based on a set of Intelligent Community Indicators identified by the Forum as the critical success factors for developing a competitive and inclusive local economy today. The indicators include: broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability and advocacy. Nelson submitted a nomination for ICF’s 2017 Intelligent Community Awards program and was named to the Smart21 Communities of the Year.
Welcoming Communities and Workplaces Program
This program was developed in 2009 to encourage the settlement of migrant and immigrant workers and their families to the region. Four communities: Nelson, Trail, Grand Forks and Castlegar formed a cooperative to improve services to newcomers. In 2012 a new action plan was developed. Highlights included: a new Welcome Map, relocation packages for newcomers, the hiring of a settlement support coordinator, a mentoring and volunteer program and training for individuals who are first points of contact with workers and their families. Learn more at welcomemap.ca.