In September, the Surrey Board of Trade participated in the launch of the Surrey Libraries report on Literacy. Literacy is still a new concept for our workplaces. That is why for the first time the Surrey Board of Trade hosted a Leadership Surrey Business Dialogue on Business, Literacy and Essential Skills. There are 3 types of literacy that can be experienced at the Surrey Library
The Surrey Board of Trade presented to the BC Government's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to provide input on next year’s provincial budget. "By 2041 Surrey's population will grow by 50%, from 500,000 to 750,000, and we will add 150,000 new jobs. The rapid and sustained growth of Surrey and the south of the Fraser region is unique in BC, and it brings a number of challenges," said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. Priority topics in the SBOT’s presentation included Education, Essential Skills, Human Capital Investments, Health Care, Transportation (Light Rail Transit), Social Service Infrastructure and Arts-Culture Investments.
Amidst the downturn in the Canadian economy and the ongoing headlines in the financial press on the impact of the energy sectors decline on corporate Canada and the Canadian labour market, there is one particular story developing that impacts each and every Canadian business and business owner and that is the changing landscape of Canadian financial institutions and daily banking activities. 'Business as usual’ is perhaps becoming an antiquated term as one paramount challenge for small business is keeping up with changes in technology. Relating the changes to finance entails, but is certainly not limited to processing and receiving payments in order to keep operations both timely and cost efficient.
Speaking at the fourth and final Business and Health Care dialogue that focused on workplace and community health and wellness, Fraser Health Authority CEO Michael Marchbank identified health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Acute care, which is the prevue of FHA, accounts for only one part of health care needs. Our environment and our personal choices matter greatly too, as does our work environment. Over 62% adults identify work as the leading cause of stress. Stress, unmanaged or managed poorly, leads to a variety of health problems further impacting productivity.
2015 Environment and Business Award Winners On September 10th, the Surrey Board of Trade presented three winners at the 9thEnvironment and Business Awards. The awards were presented to Surrey Board of Trade members or Surrey-based businesses that have demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental leadership and/or issues. The award recipients are guided by a sense of respect for the environment and demonstrate this initiative consistently.
Canada was at the table when negotiations recently concluded for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the largest, most ambitious free trade initiative in history. This is good news for our province. The TPP is a comprehensive trade deal that will help expand and secure access to much of the markets of key Asia-Pacific nations. Although growth in emerging markets has slowed of late, Asia is still projected to comprise two-thirds of the world’s middle class by 2030-35, and will grow to account for upwards of one-half of world GDP within three decades.
September 30th Leadership Surrey Dialogue Bill Wehnert, VP at Surrey Fraser Docks, facilitated a lively debate on how to plan for Surrey’s future transportation needs. Ten year planning cycles, all panelists agreed, is too short a time frame to fully plan out the kind of transit systems and transportation corridors that will work for Surrey’s residents 50 years to a 100 years from now. Business leaders filled the room and were presented with bold visions of how to plan forward and what’s needed to get it done.
At Endurance Wind Power, we see value in things that others might take for granted. Harnessing the power of the wind, for instance, has enabled Endurance turbines worldwide to generate more than half a gigawatt of clean energy – that’s enough to power almost every lightbulb in Surrey! Endurance traces its origins to a group of entrepreneurs who identified a growing market for distributed wind that others overlooked. Compared to utility-scale wind farms, our turbines are ideal for distributed wind power, where energy is consumed close to where it is produced.
Much has been written about Canadian employers’ frustrations in finding appropriately skilled employees for their workforce. Employers across various industries are also experiencing workplace challenges due to Essential Skills deficits in their work teams; challenges such as communication gaps, increased error rates, workplace conflict, wastage, increased workplace accidents and higher employee turnover. Workers today need strong foundational skills in numeracy, reading, document use, digital literacy, oral communication, working with others, thinking and problem solving skills in order to be successful at work.
Like our world-class lumber, the B.C. forest industry is resilient. Whether it’s commodity cycles or insect infestations, our industry is accustomed to facing challenges and bouncing back. Consider that, in 2013, just several years after the global financial crisis decimated the U.S. housing market and the pine beetle epidemic downsized the sector, our industry still supported about one out of every 16 jobs in BC and generated $15.7 billion in revenue, or roughly 2.5 per cent of provincial GDP.