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New Rural Economic Development Tool

Anew assessment tool that took several years to complete is now ready to be used by Manitoba municipalities to improve economic growth. The Central Plains Inc., a Manitoba Regional Development agency, developed the exercise called “Community Economic Cluster Assessment and Targeting Exercise” (CECATE).

The goal is to identify the supports needed to attract and maintain large industrial businesses, said Central Plains Inc. general manager Ken Keith. By attracting larger industries this not only creates employment and economic growth but it also allows for creation and growth of smaller businesses needed to support the larger ones, he said.

The importance of CECATE is that the businesses that need to be developed are based on concrete information. “CECATE is a fact-based tool based on statistical information,” Keith said.

CECATE was developed by the economic development company, Millier Dickinson Blais, which is based in Ontario. The project was funded by MAFRI and the Federal Rural Secretariat, along with municipalities, including stakeholders and individuals providing funds as well as their input.

The CECATE pilot project and the pilot report, which was completed in mid-October, are now available to other municipalities. Keith has heard from many community development officers and municipalities that they are interested in using the newly developed tools to their benefit.

Keith said that the key to this program is strength in numbers and the participation of other municipalities.

“The two main initiatives with these programs is to take advantage of opportunities highlighted in the report and to share information with others,” said Keith.

“The program works on the premise that perhaps one municipality has an idea, can’t put into the action, but can partner with other municipalities.”

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