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Business Beat: We’re In This Together

I’ve been struck in the last few weeks by the number of organizations seeking information from the community to help guide decisions and actions.

Here at the college, we’ve launched a planning process that will shape what this organization does in the future. The first step we’re taking is looking outward at the region to better understand what’s happening, and how advanced education can better support economic growth and quality of life.

To do that we’ve launched an online platform that asks for input about the region’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. That’s an important step toward being sure college plans match real needs.

Last week, a survey from one of the city’s major employers crossed my desk. They’re looking for information in what seems to be an effort to sustain and grow that organization’s positive community contributions.

And next week, another survey will be open to just about 4,000 businesses and organizations spanning an area within about an hour’s drive of Medicine Hat. I’m glad to be part of the group behind that survey and know that the intent is to learn more about the business environment.

In fact, the ultimate goal of that project, with the nickname BREWD, for Business Retention Expansion and Workforce Development, is to help create an environment within which business thrives.

No single person or organization can take on that goal alone. And the success of the strategies that will emerge from our work rely very much on input from businesses now, and in future decision making.

I do offer a gentle apology if you’re receiving multiple requests to participate in surveys, but please take the time to share your thoughts. The organizations leading the process really need your input if we’re to make more progress.

I say “more progress” because we’re already seeing benefits.

Through the months of behind-the-scenes work to create the BREWD project, it has become obvious that we’re in this together for the region. The mandates of the various organizations are unique, but when you cut to the ultimate outcomes, we’re all focused on making southeast Alberta a great place to work and live.

That concept of collaboration is healthy and growing. You can help us take another positive step by helping us learn amore your needs.

Visit and to learn more.

Mark Keller is director, College Advancement, at Medicine Hat College.

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