December 2, 2004

York Region Draft Economic Strategy seeks public input


NEWMARKET – York Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee yesterday received York Region’s Draft Economic Strategy and requested the document be circulated for stakeholder comment. 
 
The strategy is an assessment of the current state of York Region’s economy and proposes a framework to develop partnerships with local municipalities, businesses and other stakeholders to undertake actions that address the continued economic competitiveness of York Region. 
 
“York Region has seen tremendous economic growth over the last number of years, and our residents enjoy a very high quality of life as a result,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “This economic strategy will help to ensure that York Region continues to prosper economically, and also ensure that our high quality of life continues.”
 
The Draft Economic Strategy sets out five strategic directions:
• Creating an environment to share information and ideas
• Sustaining a high quality workforce
• Strengthening entrepreneurship and industry clusters
• Promoting York Region
• Encouraging the efficient movement of goods and people
 
“An Economic Strategy enables us to get a better idea of where we are economically, and where we wish to go,” said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Development Committee.  “This is an extremely useful exercise that will give us an opportunity to meet with our boards of trade, chambers of commerce, local businesses and stakeholder groups to get their input and work together to ensure a strong economy in the coming years.”
 
The Draft Economic Strategy will be distributed to Regional and local municipalities; Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade; the Government of Canada; the Government of Ontario; business owners, manager and executives as well as other interested stakeholders.
 
The final draft will come back to Regional Council for approval in spring 2005.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.york.ca
 

Fact Sheet

 
NEWMARKET – As part of the Economic Development Strategy development process, the Regional Municipality of York undertook a research study on York Region’s economy.  The Economy of York Region provides an estimate of the size of the Region’s economy and an assessment of the scale and diversity of the business structure of the Region.
 
As York Region’s economy continues to grow, diversify and attract a broader range of occupations, more integrated approaches between economic development, housing, and employment will be needed to meet the demands of York Region’s labour force.
 
The Draft Economic Development Strategy supports and builds on the information identified in the earlier Housing and our Economy Remaining Competitive report, which found the following:
 
• York Region’s employment is growing faster than its population
• York Region’s population is relatively young, however it is aging
• Competition on the global scale for skilled workers is likely to increase
• York Region’s labour force is increasing; however additional support for the labour force will be required
• Increase in employment is projected across all employment sectors
• The balance of work trips between York Region and the GTA is more balanced, however the volume of trips remains high
• York Region’s live work ratio is improving but is still the lowest in the GTA
• York Region’s employment and labour force are increasing and diversifying
• There is a good match between York Region’s resident labour force and jobs in certain occupations
• There is a significantly higher proportion of in-commuters who rent
• There is a significantly higher proportion of in-commuters who reside in multiple dwellings
• The housing situation in York Region also affects workers who earn between $30,000 - $70,000 in annual household income
• More rental housing is required to meet the needs of workers and residents
• York Region’s housing stock is diversifying, but not fast enough
• Increased supply of affordable housing is critical to maintaining York Region’s economic competitiveness and high quality of life



Backgrounder

York Region Draft Economic Strategy

NEWMARKET – The Draft Economic Strategy is an assessment of the current state of York Region’s economy and a proposed framework to develop partnerships with local municipalities, businesses and other stakeholders to undertake actions that address the continued economic competitiveness of the Region.
 
The purpose of the Economic Strategy is to position York Region in the marketplace by identifying partnerships with other economic stakeholders to attract the best workforce.
 
The strategic directions include:
Create an Environment to Share Information and Ideas
• It will be critical for the Region to understand the economy and to monitor how it is changing in order to attract and support industries and the future, such as producing an annual comprehensive economic profile to monitor key indicators and establish benchmarks on the state of York Region’s economy.
 
Sustain a High Quality Workforce
• As well as attracting new institutions of advanced learning, research and training, the Strategy calls for an integration of labour force development policies with long range transportation, transit, land use, and housing initiatives to support decreased commuting and time lost through work commutes.
 
Strengthen Entrepreneurship and Industry Cluster
• Promoting and expanding the reach of entrepreneurial training programs, developing ways to identify future entrepreneurs and recognizing success will be essential.  For example, the Strategy calls for improving the visibility and services of the York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre.
 
Promote York Region
• York Region needs to promote its record of preserving and enhancing environmental quality and social diversity to help sustain its economic base.
 
Encourage the efficient movement of goods and people
• Easing traffic congestion will have a positive impact on the cost of doing business, by improving delivery times of goods and services, shortening commuting times, saving on fuel cost from idling and stop-and-start movements of vehicles, and increasing the efficiency of the mobile workforce.
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Contact:   Patrick Casey, Director, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1235
- Email: patrick.casey@york.ca
 
 
 

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

 
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