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United Counties Director of Economic Development and Tourism at an event on November 15, 2016, promoting Prescott and Russell's new economic profile. (Photo: United Counties of Prescott and Russell)

Sustainable energy, lower pay mentioned in new economic profile of UCPR

A new “economic profile” of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell emphasizes a bilingual workforce and nearby cities in an effort to entice new businesses to set up shop in the area.

Touting Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company and St-Albert’s Cheese Factory as success stories, it says businesses in industries like agriculture, food processing, and aerospace research will have the benefit of an educated workforce and lower operational costs compared with other regions. Tourism is also mentioned as a growing industry.

The workforce benefits claimed by the profile include that 48 per cent of the population of Prescott and Russell has a post-secondary education and that the area has more “non-union employment and lower pay scales” compared with other parts of Canada.

The profile mentions “sustainable energy” as a growing sector, and encourages investors to “use the vast land to produce alternative energy like solar power and lead the way in a region that can potentially generate an energy capacity of 150 megawatts.”

The 44-page plan was published last week, and was created based on a recommendation in the Prescott and Russell Economic Development Plan, published in 2014 by the United Counties. A press release published by the United Counties says the profile is a “living document” to be used as a “gateway for investors, entrepreneurs and citizens.”

You can read the entire document on the United Counties website.