For the first time in four years, and the 5th time in the organization’s history, the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has received international recognition.
Announced in September by economic development publication Site Selection Magazine, the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership was named one of Canada’s top 10 Economic Development Groups.
Previously receiving the award in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2014, the Economic Partnership was recognized for its excellence in regional partnerships, proactive and innovative programming, and quality data, web tools and resources.
Also named to the Top 10 list were organizations from larger centres such as Vancouver, Montreal, Mississauga, and London.
“The Sarnia-Lambton area has so much to offer economically and this recognition will elevate the awareness of our area,” said Stephen Thompson, CEO of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership.
“The investments that are being made across a variety of sectors are so important and reflect the confidence in investing and reinvesting in our region,” he added.
While members of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership staff continue to work on securing further investment in the region, they are also directing their efforts towards implementing the economic development strategic plan that was adopted in April of this year.
As part of the plan, the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership is undertaking an outreach program that includes hundreds of consultations to provide one-on-one assistance for businesses across the region.
“There is a renewed energy in furthering the growth of the Sarnia-Lambton area’s businesses and we are seeing that through the numerous business retention and expansion visits that we are conducting on a daily basis,” Thompson said.
“These visits allow us to work closely with all businesses in Lambton County and are helping ensure the continued economic growth of the Sarnia-Lambton area,” he said, noting “this is an extremely important part of the programming that the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership offers, and we are pleased with how it is being received.”
Chair of the Partnership’s Board of Directors, Alex Palimaka, sees the recognition of the organization as validation of the direction it is heading in.
“We are pleased to be recognized as one of the top economic development groups in the country, and we will continue to work hard to leverage that distinction to build positive awareness of the Sarnia-Lambton area,” Palimaka said.
“We pride ourselves on being a valuable resource to our community partners and we hope that our work can aid in further bolstering the Sarnia-Lambton area as an economic hub.”
The recognition for the Economic Partnership wasn’t the only international accolade that the Sarnia-Lambton area received in the latter stages of 2018, either.
On Oct. 25, the Sarnia-Lambton area was named one of the world’s Smart 21 communities by the Intelligent Community Foundation, marking the 4th consecutive year that the region was recognized as one of the world’s leaders in broadband access, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equity, sustainability and advocacy.
With six of the world’s top 15 chemical producers constantly bringing new technologies to the forefront, and Canada’s top research college in Lambton College located in the area, Sarnia-Lambton was recognized amongst centres like Chicago, Moscow, and Winnipeg as a leader in economic, social and cultural development in the digital age.