The Township of Langley is hosting an invitation-only economic forum but residents, business owners and employees can submit feedback online. Langley Times file photo

Township hosts stakeholder engagement forum

July 5 forum is open to all and offered at no charge, but registration is required

The Township of Langley is creating a new Economic Development Strategy and invites local business owners, their employees, and residents to contribute to shaping the municipality’s economy in the years to come.

As the fastest growing municipality in the Lower Mainland, and boasting numerous competitive business advantages, the Township has the opportunity to shape a diverse and sustainable economic future.

Stakeholder Engagement Forum 2018 will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 5, at the Sandman Signature Hotel, at 8828 201 St.

This by-registration event features three concurrent components: prominent speakers, facilitated ideation sessions, and an extensive feature display showcasing community investment.

“This is an opportunity for local businesses to get involved and let us know what is needed for our community to thrive, and what economic targets and achievements should be considered in the years ahead,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese.

Bruce Ralston, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, will kick off the event through an opening address.

Throughout the day, numerous thought leaders will share their insights into the various economic sectors hard at work in B.C. Event speakers include Val Litwin, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce; Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC; Dr. Michael Schwandt, Medical Health Officer from the Fraser Health Authority; and Geoff Cross, vice-president of Planning and Policy for TransLink.

A speaker panel will also be hosted, featuring Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa, Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie, Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, and Langley MLA Mary Polak.

“We are inspired to be welcoming these captivating speakers, who will share valuable insight into industry contributions to our economy,” said the Township’s Senior Manager of Corporate Administration Val Gafka.

“This is a rare opportunity to be able to hear from so many prominent thought leaders at one single event.”

While the Stakeholder Engagement Forum is free and open to the public, registration is required as seating is limited. For event details and to register online today, visit invest.tol.ca/forum2018.

Registrants will receive a digital background paper prior to the event, featuring broad information on key economic sectors within the Township, to help provide context.

During the event, registered attendees can drop in as they please, or stay all day to examine key economic trends, needs, and possibilities, challenge assumptions, join meaningful ideation discussion groups on topics of economic relevance, complete an economic survey, ask questions, and explore detailed displays on municipal and business organizations’ investment in the community.

“The Township’s future Economic Development Strategy truly belongs to the business sector. We are asking businesses from all industries and sectors to join the conversation and be a part of shaping our economic future,” Gafka said. “Through involvement and collective thinking, the possibilities are endless.”

Facilitated ideation discussion groups will be hosted at various intervals throughout the day for attendees to share ideas on topics critical to the Township’s economic future, such as agriculture, aviation and aerospace, education, healthcare, international investment including trade and export, tourism, and transportation and transit. Discussion groups will be hosted at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3:15 p.m.

Attendees are also invited to complete an economic survey available at survey stations onsite at the event.

Information collected during the Forum will be used to inform the Township’s next Economic Development Strategy, which will set goals for the Economic Development and Investment Department for the next three to five years, to be achieved through an implementation plan with associated activities. The first portion of the future Strategy, a research phase, has already been completed, and the new Strategy will be prepared in 2019.

For more information, visit invest.tol.ca/events. Business owners and residents unable to attend the Forum are encouraged to visit invest.tol.ca following the event to complete the economic survey and read the information provided to forum participants.

For more information, contact Val Gafka, Senior Manager of Corporate Administration, at vgafka@tol.ca or 604-532-7305.

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