Autumn is here! I really like the word autumn over fall, it makes me think of all the beautiful colors we get as the leaves turn where fall gives the season a depressing fall into winter feel. Regardless of what you call it we all know what it means, winter is around the corner. But hey we love winter up here, bring it on!
It’s been a busy few weeks so let’s get right into the update.
Back to school meeting
On October 3rd we sat down at Georgian College with Lise Mollon, Business Manager – Georgian College and Savanna Myers, Economic Development Manager – Grey County to discuss the Community Hub: Skills Training, Trades and Innovation Centre. We heard that the goal is to have the Centre up and running in the former Sydenham School by September 2018. This is a very ambitious goal but one that I think is needed to show the community at large how serious the college, county and the rest of us are about making this happen. The plan is to have all services under one roof for the advancement of Skills Training, Trades and Innovation. This will include onsite child care which I think is an excellent idea. The College will be an anchor tenant along with 3-4 others. The college and county were looking for input from the Network on what we would like to see in this centre to encourage and grow technology related industries in the area. Several good ideas were brought to the table:
- device library to aid in app development across various platforms
- commercial grade 3D printer for rapid prototyping and product development
- access to relevant server/network technology for training and development
- focus the college/centre technology on an existing core competency in the region such as marine tech, ag tech, seniors tech, marijuana tech, nuclear tech and become known as a destination/leader for that specific technology
- provide, extend offerings from the Henry Bernick centre locally
- offer modular technology focused courses– weekends, nights – building blocks
- create a culture of innovation – provide creative spaces and amenities like current tech companies
- offer a traditional IT/programming 2 year course at OS campus so that youth coming out of high school have an opportunity to take it locally
The college and county welcome as much input and help as possible as they move forward with this bold initiative. If anyone in the network would like to provide thoughts, ideas or would like to potentially assist in offering courses once the centre is running reach out to Savanna Myers Savanna.Myers@grey.ca
Are you most?
As you may know I signed up to be a host for Owen Sound’s “Are You Most” recruitment/marketing campaign. I was asked to host a family from Waterloo who has a digital marketing software start-up and is looking to relocate close to water. On Saturday night I took them to one of my favorite indoor places in Owen Sound, the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, to watch the Attack play. The family has a 4 year old son and he was treated to 9 Attack goals by the end of the 2nd period, at that point he was ready for bed. Sunday morning our families had a nice breakfast at Harrison Park Inn. This gave us all an opportunity to connect and for the visiting family a time to ask both myself and my wife questions about the area. After breakfast the kids played on the playground before the rain came down. We suggested they hit up another one of our favorite spots before they left, Coffin Ridge Winery. Reports back were they loved it. We said our goodbyes and both my wife and I thought that the family would be welcome and fun addition to the community. Hope to see you guys here one day! The experience definitely furthered my belief that the “Are You Most” campaign is a successful initiative and one that shows the city is looking outside the box.
A little side note on the campaign, if you happen across the latest copy of Escarpment Magazine you’ll find a picture of yours truly doing what I love to do, ride my bike, and yes that is a denim print cycling kit from Martin’s in Southampton.
Mayor’s Growth Plan Workshop
On October 18th I participated in the Mayor’s Growth Plan Workshop in Owen Sound. The Mayor has assembled a working group to determine how to encourage community growth. To assist this working group the city organized a community growth workshop which included a cross section of individuals from our community. In the workshop we were broken into small groups and each group was tasked to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT analysis) of marketing/attracting the city to various demographics. Our group reinforced that the current Are You Most campaign and its target market should be a priority for the city. There was also a lot of discussion about the public perception of Owen Sound both in the city and outside. When asked to report back, the one key item that our group felt was a top priority was to change the perception of Owen Sound. The day before the workshop the Mayor announced a bold initiative “30,000 by 2030”, looking to increase Owen Sound’s population to 30,000 by the year 2030. I applaud the mayor for an ambitious goal and think that we are poised to move the population needle forward especially with the positive momentum in the downtown core, the community hub and the Sydenham Heights development. In the end do I see the population reaching 30,000, no, but I do think it’s reasonable to think that we could hit 25,000. I thought this was a very good workshop and was happy to participate on the Network’s behalf. It shows the commitment of the current city council to being progressive and thinking outside the box when it comes to encouraging growth.
We had a great suggestion at our last meeting that we start having members highlight their projects and expertise in more detail at upcoming meetings. One member will be given the opportunity to highlight their projects and technical expertise at coming meetings. This will allow members to better understand the skills and resources available locally which could lead to collaboration and/or business opportunities. I am still working towards adding member profiles to the website, hopefully once the “time vaporizer”, aka 2 month old + 2.5 year old slows down 🙂
Thanks to all those that came out to our “Back to school” meeting.
I am excited to announce our next meeting will be Tuesday November 21, 7pm at the new downtown offices of KP9 Interactive. This will be our last meeting of 2017 so come on out to learn about KP9 and their suite of AR apps.