Region's political and business leaders in U.S. for investment, expansion mission

Waterloo region's mayors and the CEO of the Waterloo Region Economical Development Corporation are visiting several U.S. states this week to bring more business home.

Mayors and head of region's economic development will attend meetings with execs and investors

Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation's Tony LaMantia, (third from left) along with Kitchener mayor Berry Vrbanovic (fourth from left) and Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworski (fourth from right) are in Now York and Boston this week pitching Waterloo region as the ideal place to expand business and invest into. (Berry Vrbanovic/Twitter)

Local political and business leaders are visiting several northeastern U.S. states this week, pitching Waterloo region as the ideal place to invest and expand business.

Mayors form Kitchener and Waterloo and a representative from Cambridge, along with the CEO of the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation (WREDC) Tony LaMantia, will meet with executives and investors in New York and Boston to showcase the region's strengths in the tech and security sector.

"New York and Boston and the entire U.S. northeast are important markets for foreign and domestic investment for Waterloo region," LaMantia told CBC K-W's The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Tuesday from New York. 

"Given Waterloo region's strengths in embedded security and a range of new technologies, it makes a lot of sense to showcase the strengths of our region with companies like BlackBerry and ISARA who are joining us here."

Pitching Waterloo region

This trip has been in the works since 2016, LaMantia said. Throughout the four-day investment and expansion mission, the mayors and LaMantia will attend 16 meetings with executive figures and investors.

LaMantia said they are pitching Waterloo region for its pool of talent coming out of the region's three post-secondary institutions, its community and investment in infrastructure.

"That's fundamentally the pitch. And it's validated by a number of companies that have decided to expand in Waterloo," he said.

In 2016 WREDC, the region's mayor and the mayor of Toronto took a similar trip to California and in Germany, which brought business to Waterloo region, LaMantia said.

Toronto to Waterloo corridor

On Tuesday, WREDC will meet up with Toronto Mayor John Tory to also pitch the Toronto to Waterloo region corridor. LaMantia said pitching the corridor will benefit the region as well, rather than just Toronto.

"If there is an expansion in Toronto, given how close we are, 105 or 110 kilometres, it actually benefits all of southwestern Ontario," LaMantia said. 

"From our standpoint that corridor is a very important magnet for global companies. Toronto is a large city with a number of companies like the banks and insurance companies and you really need to be in close proximity to the vibrancy of a city like that."

Hear the whole interview below: