This past week has been a very good one for the City of North Bay and two long-time members of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.
It is always a pleasure when we welcome the minister of Northern Development and Mines, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, and the Board of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to North Bay. When they come to town, it is usually with their cheque book and again this time, they did not disappoint.
The announcement Thursday afternoon at Canadore College and then again on Friday morning at Voyageur Aviation provides some terrific news for this city. Strategic investments by both the college and Voyageur, assisted by NOHFC, are key to job creation and retention in our business community and the residents of Northern Ontario.
The Canadore College grand opening Thursday, with the launch of their state of the art post-production facility, will compliment the success that the city and region has had with the film industry,over the past few years.
Not only will this facility allow companies to utilize the new technology and facilities, but also, Canadore will be training their students for employment in this field. With the opening of the new facility, filled with next generation equipment and a hands-on faculty, it will allow them to be on the cutting edge when it comes to new technology and job creation around this industry.
On Friday morning, we were pleased to again visit with the minister and NOHFC Board, along with the employees and management of Voyageur Aviation for another investment announcement.
Almost $3 million was announced as well, to be invested in the company and its infrastructure which should create about 40 new jobs in our aviation sector. Voyageur Aviation, a division of Chorus Aviation, is a global company with many employees living and working in our region and has been in operation since 1968 in North Bay.
Both announcements last week were positive indicators that North Bay is a a good place for investment in both education and employment opportunities well into the next decade. These types of investments are required to grow our city.
As confidence grows, prosperity will follow.
In the film Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, the saying “if you build it, they will come” rings true for our district. Strategic investments must be made, with the mandate of creating jobs and attracting private investment to our business and educational facilities.
Over analysis can create paralysis and it is time for the City of North Bay to make those strategic investments, in conjunction with public and private investments, as was the case in the two announcements this past week.
Both entities had a vision for the future and backed it with their investments, in our future. Congratulations to both Canadore College and Voyageur Aviation for both having the confidence and vision, for that future.
Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.