Alex Pietralla of the Kitimat Terrace Industrial Development Northwest Society speaks to members of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce.

Regional collaboration needed for development, Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce told

The northwest as a whole needs to work together to make the bright economic future and proposed projects planned in the area a reality.

The northwest as a whole needs to work together to make the bright economic future and proposed projects planned in the area a reality.

That was the message of Alex Pietralla of the Kitimat Terrace Industrial Development Northwest Society during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon held on Nov. 21.

“A lot of what you see… Will only happen if we work collaboratively and are open and honest about road ahead,” said Pietralla, who was meeting with the Chamber to outline an impact study done in conjunction with UNBC that saw 21 community and industry leaders in northeast B.C. interviewed on 12 different aspects of development.

“Whatever we see here in the next few years is going to be very significant…. The scale of development, some think will be $16 billion but we’ve done studies projecting $40 to $50 billion if all projects move ahead.”

With that much potential investment, Pietralla said it is important not only to increase the speed in which projects can develop but to create a welcoming atmosphere for industry. Along with that, the region needs to be ready to provide workers for the projects.

“A lot of the jobs that are coming will need experience, and it is not experience that they can get here now… We need to encourage our young people, particularly First Nations, to go outside of the region, get that experience and come back,” he said, adding that training opportunities need to reflect the current workplace reality.

“If you bring a young person with their whole life in front of them and bring them into a facility [with outdated equipment], what message does that send? We value you, but here is what you’ll be training on. That is ridiculous to be honest.”

But perhaps above all, Pietralla said cities looking to get the most from industrial development need to have a plan and need to be brutally honest with themselves.

“No change will come and will go the way you want it to if you are not open and honest… Don’t change what you want to be in 20 to 30 years, Make sure you have a vision for your community and communicate that with industry when they are in town,” he said, adding that quality of life is an important consideration for many industries.

“They really want to make sure that once the project is built, those 400 or 500 employees are happy where they live. They want to have people that are going to be on the job for 20 years because they are happy with where they live.”

The 150 page report can be found in its entirety on the Kitimat Terrace Industrial Development Society website at www.ktids.ca

Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 16 is open with delays due to avalanche control

DriveBC has opened the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace but expect delays

Rampage beat Ice Demons at home

Prince Rupert scored a late goal to win 3-2

Friends, Facebook and fundraising

Ellen Christinson started an auction on Facebook to help cancer-striken friend Cody

MVP of the Week — Amy Leighton is making waves

Prince Rupert swimmer Amy Leighton won the Premier’s Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in sport

2017 Kaien Island Craft Fair highlights

One hundred tables displayed the arts and crafts of the local community.

2017 Kaien Island Craft Fair highlights

One hundred tables displayed the arts and crafts of the local community.

CONTEST: Send us your Hammy photos to win a free T-shirt

Submit your best Hammy the deer photo by Nov. 30 to be entered to win

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

LIVE: BC Liberals kick off leadership debate in Nanaimo

Candidates’ forum is at noon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Most Read