Facilitating workforce development: The economic developer’s role in supporting economic stability in medium and small resource-based British Columbian cities


  • Christina Doll


The availability of a talented workforce is increasingly being cited as a barrier to growth by businesses across Canada. This worker shortage is particularly challenging for organizations looking to expand in medium and small resource-based cities. This is due to an increase in outmigration to large cities by people seeking knowledge economy based employment and negative perceptions of resource-based cities. These factors hinder employer’s ability to attract people to their smaller resource-reliant communities from other cities. Economic developers in these smaller cities can adjust to these changing realities by highlighting their community’s strengths in relation to larger cities to attract and retain the skilled talent needed to support the growth of their existing businesses and to attract new business. Economic developers in the Kootenays, Prince George and Quesnel have all recognized this opportunity and the work being done in these communities to increase the population base can be used as a model by other communities grappling with similar workforce attraction and retention issues. 

Keywords: economic development, workforce, population, attraction and retention, natural resources, urbanization, outmigration 

Author Biography

Christina Doll

Christina Doll is the Workforce Development Officer in the Economic Development Division at the City of Prince George. She supports local business growth by implementing initiatives that assist in attracting and retaining population in Prince George. Prior to entering this role, she spent three years as the Manager, Marketing and Communications at the City’s previous external economic development office, Initiatives Prince George. She holds a Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo, a Diploma in Public Relations from the University of Victoria, a Diploma, Broadcast and Media Communications with a specialization in Broadcast Journalism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts, English Literature from the University of Northern British Columbia.