Economic Support and Recovery For Business and Our Members

Press Release - Whitecourt partnership receives provincial support to complete a COVID-19 Impact Assessment Project for the region.

The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services, and the Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce, Town of Whitecourt, and Community Futures Yellowhead East are proud to announce that the Government of Alberta’s Labour Market Partnership Program has allocated $59,000 to the Whitecourt region to complete a COVID-19 Impact Assessment Project.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have and will continue to change how business and industry hire staff, address labour force challenges, and respond to consumer behavior,” stated Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak. “This project will involve the implementation of an extensive business outreach platform to align programs, communications and plans between employees, employers, training providers, post-secondary institutions and other organizations in the region.”

In March 2020, the partnership launched an Economic Supports and Recovery Task Team to leverage resources and provide a coordinated response to supporting businesses in the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of discussions and information gathered, Whitecourt, Community Futures Yellowhead East, and the Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce submitted a proposal to the Labour Market Partnership Program to complete the COVID-19 impact assessment and recovery strategy.

“The Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with the Town of Whitecourt and Community Futures Yellowhead East to administer this project,” added Chamber President Mark Dickin. “Our businesses have been hard hit by the impact of COVID-19, which has come at an already extremely challenging time for our community. Establishing a coordinated effort to educate, train and employ high quality personnel in alignment with the requirements of our businesses, will foster growth and sustainability in our region.”

The approved project is jointly funded by the partners with support through the Labour Market Partnership Program and will provide a proactive plan to best meet the needs of the business community and its employees as the COVID-19 pandemic situation evolves.

Components of the local project include:

  • implementing a COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment for the Whitecourt region, including communicating with and aligning the project with employers, employees, training providers, post-secondary institutions, and various organizations in the Whitecourt region;
  • identifying immediate labour force needs and challenges and making recommendations on strategies needed to support the findings;
  • identifying long-term challenges, anticipated labour force trends due to COVID-19, and strategies to support employees and employers in the long term;
  • capitalizing on the findings making recommendations to determine the best approach to assist with implementation of business and labour force retention strategies moving forward.

“We have only just begun to determine the effects of COVID-19 on the economic viability of our businesses and communities. Understanding the challenges will allow us to develop actionable and sustainable recovery strategies,” added Carol Webster, Chair of Community Futures Yellowhead East. “This partnership opens the door to creating strategic solutions for Whitecourt and eventually other Community Futures Yellowhead East regional municipalities."

Work on the project has begun, and is anticipated to be completed over the next 12 months with continued assessment on the impacts into the future.

There are a number of new and existing resources that are available to local businesses that will provide support at this time.  Whitecourt, the Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce, and Community Futures Yellowhead East have compiled information links HERE to provide easy access to our community.


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