Invest Kootenay has merged with Work West Kootenay into a single program called Imagine Kootenay, which highlights the region as a great place to work, invest and live.
“For the past 10 years, Invest Kootenay’s main focus was to promote businesses for sale and investment opportunities in the region, as well as highlighting the advantages of the Kootenay lifestyle. Over the years, we have also seen the need to support workforce and talent attraction activities,” said Imagine Kootenay program manager Jessica Fairhart in a press release. “Through this new partnership. we have expanded our mandate to support working, living and investment attraction activities throughout the Kootenay region.”
Before the merger, Invest Kootenay focused on connecting investors with opportunities through its online directory of businesses for sale in the region, while Work West Kootenay was a workforce recruitment initiative run by the Lower Columbia Initiative Corp. focused on promoting the benefits of living in working in the Trail and Rossland area.
“We decided that the two programs are really well-linked. Combining them into a new program gives us the opportunity to be bigger and to market the region with a stronger voice,” Fairhart told The Echo. “We can really showcase the diversity of work and career opportunities right across the region. We give people the chance to find out where in the Kootenay region the works fits, where the lifestyle fits and where the investment opportunities fit.”
Although Fairhart is based in Invermere, the first point of contact for the program in the Columbia Valley is its liaison Susan Clovechok. Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt is also involved as the second Columbia Valley resident on the Imagine Kootenay steering committee.
“(The merger) has made things more modern and is in keeping with what people are looking for,” Reinhardt told The Echo. “The former Invest Kootenay website has had several re-incarnations, and this latest update (becoming the Imagine Kootenay website) is the most comprehensive overhaul they’ve done. It really does a good job of focusing on all three aspects — invest, work and play.”
Imagine Kootenay’s new website launched in January 2016 and contains three subsections — Imagine Working (which showcases samples of the diverse employment opportunities and sectors in the region, and provides links to job boards in partner communities); Imagine Investing (which is a free service for business owners to post businesses for sale or to market new opportunities); and Imagine Living (which features lifestyle information for each Kootenay communities involved in the program). The website also contains a news and blog section featuring stories about entrepreneurship and opportunities available in the Kootenay region. To learn more, visit www.imaginekootenay.com or visit Imagine Kootenay on Twitter or Facebook.