The City of Steinbach is looking for a new Director of Economic Development. 

Steinbach Chamber of Commerce President Christine Beaumont says the five-year economic development pilot project was first announced about a year ago. She notes it is financed jointly between the City of Steinbach and a private stakeholder group and it is overseen by the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce. 

Beaumont says in January the chamber contracted a consultant to fill the role but notes that contract has now concluded and they are currently looking for the next director. That said, the work that has been done since January is still very valuable. 

“The purpose behind this economic development project is to facilitate the growth and expansion of existing businesses and also attract new investment to Steinbach. The study that is underway right now and almost finalized, relates to understanding 'what are Steinbach's assets?' And, to get a lay of the land of the different important sectors in this region and where there are opportunities to grow in different sectors.” 

Generally speaking, the initial objectives of the project have remained unchanged, however, Beaumont says there is one exception. 

“One thing that has tilted or shifted since we started on this path about a year ago is that there is a pressing labour shortage here locally and even across the country. It is not unique to Steinbach but in order for us to be here locally sustainable and to grow our local employers need to fill the job vacancies and immigration is a huge part of that.” 

Fortunately, Beaumont says Steinbach has a seat at the table when it comes to discussions relating to things like the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. She notes the city is in a good position to tackle this.  

“We have a huge advantage here in Steinbach because we've built this community on immigration and we have the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce that oversees Eastman Immigrant Services so we have this great tie between business and immigration in our community and now when we add economic development, we are very well positioned.” 

Beaumont says the Director of Economic Development will need to work with groups such as the City of Steinbach, Southern Health, local businesses and business groups, educational institutions, immigration officials, other economic development groups, and even recreation organizations. 

“There is a lot of collaboration and I think when we look at what we are looking for moving forward and the next person that will fill this role, I think one of the most important parts of the job is building relationships. There are so many people involved in making this successful moving forward and so strong interpersonal leadership and communication skills are imperative.” 

With the project already underway, Beaumont says the next director will be able to hit the ground running. 

The Director of Economic Development role was something that many candidates campaigned on in the last municipal election four years ago.