The Paragon report, an economic development assessment of Rainy River District was presented to area municipalities last week.
The report, first revealed in the Times back on July 5, was done by Paragon Decision Resources Inc. at the request of the Rainy River Future Development Corp. to show what the district needs to improve economic development.
The report pinpointed the district’s weaknesses, and listed a number of areas that could be improved to attract businesses here.
As previously reported in the Times, among the highlighted weaknesses was a lack of post-secondary education among the district’s graduates.
The report indicated more than 50 percent of high school graduates are not attending a college or university despite the presence of Confederation College here.
The report also included recommendations to:
•Prepare a work force development plan;
•Set up a labour management committee;
•Prepare a relocation assistance plan;
•Become actively involved in school district issues;
•Support hospitality industry training;
•Assist in the developing of a tracking system for high school grads one-five years after graduation;
•Develop a positive working relationship with the new Confederation College president;
•Join with other economic development groups in Northwestern Ontario to form a lobby on telecommunications issues;
•Work to attract telecommunications firms;
•Encourage the towns of Emo and Rainy River to adopt a land use plan similar to Fort Frances’ in order to process projects more quickly and efficiently;
•Take part in regional prospect/trade missions to Chicago, Iowa, Missouri, and Minneapolis;
•Enhance economic development alliances with First Nations;
•Research opportunities to make optimal use of Canadian National Railway’s merger with Burlington Northern;
•Support and encourage efforts to embark on a comprehensive community-wide volunteer neighbourhood beautification program;
•Encourage involvement in chambers of commerce and service clubs at all levels; and
•Embark on comprehensive economic development education for the leadership in the communities and future leadership.