Today I celebrate one year in my role as Marketing and Communications Officer with Chatham-Kent Economic Development and it has been one of the most interesting years in my career. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with businesses and entrepreneurs across Chatham-Kent, in communities of all sizes, and help them with activities such as launching their grand openings, celebrate successes by marking key milestones, and sharing some of the amazing stories from across our region. While these are all wonderful and I love sharing the great news, one thing that I have not had the chance to talk about is some of the behind the scenes work that goes on at Chatham-Kent Economic Development.

There is no doubt that Chatham-Kent is in a boom phase when it comes to entrepreneurship, job creation, and investment. However, after the ribbon has been cut and the banners are put away, the work that does not receive all of the glowing accolades begins. It is at this time Economic Development becomes the partner who helps connect businesses with resources they need.

This can include everything from providing information on partners with workforce solutions, to advocating for infrastructure developments, and even just connecting the dots to help a business solve smaller, but timely, issues. One such example is a recent challenge that was faced in the Thamesville area. Without pointing fingers or placing blame, just last week there was a community activity that left a significant mess on the property of a local business. The business reached out to us expressing concern about what to do and how they needed help. Kim Cooper, the Economic Development Officer for that region, was able to connect the business with municipal partners and find a solution that worked.

In the end, a group of staff and volunteers was able clean up the mess without becoming bogged down in red tape and the issue was solved. This story may not have all the flash and flair of a grand opening, but it does help to illustrate how Economic Development is making sure the business was able to maintain normal operations, prove good community stewardship, and ultimately solved the problem by shifting the conversation from “us vs them” to the more positive “us and them”.

Over the past year I have seem countless examples like this where Economic Development Officers are doing outstanding work bridging gaps and changing challenges into opportunities. Sometimes the solutions are simple and require just a few calls, other times it can take multiple meetings and ongoing engagement to find an outcome that meets everyone’s needs. The important thing I’ve seen is that no matter the scope of the problem, when Economic Development is invited to be at the table, we will always be there willing to help.

For more information about Chatham-Kent Economic Development, visit us at www.investck.ca.  

Andrew Tompsett
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development

Attending an education session and meeting regarding manufacturing workforce using an industry tool called Manufacturing GPS
Economic Development Officers, Anthony Wilson, Kim Cooper, and Spencer Pray, attending an education session and meeting regarding manufacturing workforce using an industry tool called Manufacturing GPS.

Additional Details:

Media Contact:
Andrew Tompsett
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
124 Thames Street
Chatham, ON  N7M 5K8
Email: andrewt@chatham-kent.ca
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039
Fax: 519.436.3237