Fostering Economic Development relations with German water companies

June 14, 2013

This past June 1-6, I traveled to Germany with Kyle Benham, Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) for an economic development trip. It was a productive, whirlwind trip.

The purpose of the trip was to participate in the German Water Partnership, a conference of approximately 300 water technology businesses from across Germany and to meet with several Germany head offices with local operations in Burlington.

Canada has been an attractive location for German companies, and Burlington is a good fit with the skill set of our residential base – a fusion of engineering and business management talent.

The BEDC Investment Attraction Strategy has identified advanced manufacturing and water/wastewater technology as a focus area for future investment attraction. Burlington already has a strong economic niche in the water area. It may be surprising to some to learn that Burlington is home to approximately 250 water related businesses, including Anaergia, Kontek, Ecodyne, H20 Innovation, MarCor Purification, and Water Energy Technologies. We are the birthplace of Zenon and a number of spin off companies.

Burlington was the only municipality represented at the conference and we gave presentation about working with cities and regions in Canada.

Here’s a short video that we shared with the conference:

Continue reading

Ensuring Our Continued Prosperity

April 2013

Published in City Talk, Spring 2013

We have much to be thankful for in Burlington. We were recently chosen as the number one mid-sized city in which to live in Canada and the number one overall in Ontario – by Money Sense magazine.

Speaking to Burlington Business community at James Burchill’s Spring Into Business Networking event. Photography courtesy of Derrick van der KOLK

In a recent Environics poll, 95% of those surveyed indicated they had a good or excellent quality of life and expressed a positive outlook on the future as it pertains to both their quality of life and personal financial situation.

We have a strong and vibrant local economy that is well positioned to grow. We have a diverse economic base with a mix of professional services and manufacturing in Burlington. We have above average family incomes, a relatively strong housing market, an educated workforce and easy access to Toronto, Canada’s largest city that is central to the country’s economy. Our physical location also gives us access to the US markets and global opportunities. We cannot take all of this for granted. We must remain competitive and innovative in our pursuit of future investment, new business and more jobs. The challenge going forward will be to maintain the positive progress and energy we have and build on this foundation and drive so that we ensure that Burlington continues to be a  destination for both families and businesses.
Continue reading

Innovate Burlington: Fresh Eyes, Fresh Thinking

April 29, 2013

I recently sat down with Innovate Burlington, a business consultancy of recent college and university graduates, with the objective of creating career opportunities for new graduates, under the mentorship of seasoned business professionals in Burlington.

Watch this video to learn more about the first, successful year of Innovate Burlington with two consultants, Joanne and Jen and read more below.

“Fresh Eyes, Fresh Thinking”

Guest Blog Post, By Innovate Burlington

Today, Burlington is faced with an aging population and a diminishing workforce. Therefore, In 2011, Mayor Rick Goldring and other community partners realized the need to do something to reverse this trend and hold onto the city’s younger demographic. The response cam in the form of Innovate Burlington.
Continue reading