Whitby working on 5-year economic development plan

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Published June 30, 2021 at 3:14 pm

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The Town of Whitby is working on an Economic Development Strategy that will help guide them through the next five years.

With the help of Ottawa-based consultancy group McSweeney and Associates and a Project Steering Committee made up of business representatives from Whitby and around Durham Region, staff hope to have a final report in Council’s hands by the end of the year.

The committee has met three times this year (with two more meetings scheduled) and is focusing on four main themes: Information & Communications Technology, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Advanced Manufacturing and Downtown and Lifestyle.

Staff has also completed a review of local demographics and labour force information. Based on 2021 estimates of population (140,615), labour force (82,574), unemployment rate (7.1 per cent) and median household income ($118,790), the key findings include:

• Whitby’s growth outpaces that of the province
• The Town has a young, affluent and highly educated workforce
• Although many Whitby residents (73 per cent) commute outside of the municipality for work, much of the workforce (63 per cent) commutes to Whitby from other jurisdictions.

Work on the strategy will continue throughout the summer months, with meetings scheduled for July 21 and September 15. Council will be provided with an update report on October 25, with the final report expected to be delivered to Whitby Council November 22.

The Economic Development Strategy Update will be funded through a 2021 capital project expenditure of $50,000 and is anticipated to be completed within budget.

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