How do rural regions recognize the labour force requirements for future developments? What opportunities are there regarding future labour force developments that could increase the competitiveness of rural businesses? On June 19, 2017, over 50 delegates from across the Kootenays Region of British Columbia gathered to discuss these issues. The workshop was part of a larger research initiative led by Dr. Terri MacDonald (Regional Innovation Chair in Regional Economic Development at Selkirk College) examining how rural regions can restructuring their economies and labour forces to be competitive in the global market place. Further information on this research initiative can be found at

Dr. Gibson delivered a presentation at the workshop highlighting the link between welcoming communities, rural immigration, and workforce development. The presentation focused on the fundamental role of welcoming community strategies play in workforce development, in both sustaining the current labour force and attracting new labour force. The presentation pulled from recent research on rural immigration and welcoming communities initiatives. A copy of the presentation and workshop agenda are available below.

 Rural Immigration and Welcoming Communities: Ideas and Inspiration (Gibson)

 Building a 21st Century Workforce Agenda (Selkirk College)