2019 success for Economic Development Corporation a cause for optimism
WINDSOR, ONT -- The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation is touting its 2019 results which saw more than $100-million in business investment in the region.
While 2020 may be off to a rocky start the organization has reason for optimism.
The $102-million in investment helped create 1,038 new jobs in the region.
"We’re talking about 2019 results but it feels like a decade ago," said Stephen MacKenzie, CEO.
That's because a lot has happened over the past five months due to COVID-19.
Mackenzie says the focus this year will be on keeping all that investment around.
"We want to provide the assistance, we want to make sure they can access the programs, we want to make sure the companies already here can rebound and grow. So it's certainly going to be a key focus and we have allocated more resources to that."
But the taxpayer-funded organization which receives $2.4 million annually from Windsor and county municipalities will not be giving up on efforts to attract new business.
It helped lure a Mexican-based automation and tech company to Windsor-Essex as its new Canadian headquarters and with it more than a dozen jobs and future projected growth.
Despite COVID-related pains, $22-million was invested in the region in the first quarter of 2020.
Other success stories are said to be in the pipeline.
"Even though we've been occupied with COVID and the response and the economic response and trying to work on strategies for our industries, the traditional economic development, we're still keeping up with that as well."
Mackenzie says the region's strong manufacturing backbone can be retained and nourished through targeted diversification.
“It's good, we don't have to start from scratch, we can base on our strengths up until now for this industry and look to diversify and get the job of the future, which is really what we're after."