Calgary

Nearly 2,000 new jobs created by companies lured to Calgary, committee told

Calgary Economic Development told a city council committee that a one-time injection of cash is helping it to reach more companies and bring jobs to the city.

Calgary Economic Development says it expects to make more headway in 2017

Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, says an infusion of cash has helped her organization lure businesses to the city. (Mark Matulis/CBC)

Calgary Economic Development told a city council committee that a one-time injection of cash is helping it to reach more companies and bring jobs to the city.

Last year, city council approved giving the agency an additional $7 million to help lure companies to Calgary

CEO Mary Moran told the priorities and finance committee that in the past 15 months, 53 companies have set up shop here. Those companies have created 1,950 jobs.

She said the additional cash from city council has helped with their outreach in finding and courting potential leads.

"It's allowed us to put more feet on the ground, go to more places and tell Calgary's story to more companies," said Moran.

But this type of work isn't always about the big score.

"I don't so much focus on the number of jobs as I do the number of companies," said Moran.

"With respect to the number of companies, we're doing kind of double what we used to do and hope to do triple in 2017 than what we used to do during the good days."

Still money in the kitty

While council provided the $7 million boost, only about one-third of that cash has already been spent.

Coun. Ward Sutherland said it obviously took Calgary Economic Development time to bring on new staff to help with the work.

Now that it's happened, he's expecting the city agency will be reporting more successes.

"They anticipate some even better results coming forward in the later part of this year and into 2018 because they're using that funding to hire the right individuals to go out and attract the different businesses," said Sutherland.

The bulk of the new jobs have come in two industries: film and TV production (725 jobs) and transportation and logistics (625 jobs).

The renewable energy sector, which is expected to benefit from provincial government policies, has generated 230 new jobs in Calgary since early 2016.

Calgary Economic Development told the committee it is working on 250 active leads for attracting investment to the city.

now