Press Releases

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - Whitecourt community partnership launches COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment & Recovery Strategy

The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services, and Whitecourt recently announced that the Government of Alberta’s Labour Market Partnership Program has allocated $59,000 to the Whitecourt region to complete a COVID-19 Impact Assessment Project.

The Town of Whitecourt, Community Futures Yellowhead East, Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce, and Alberta Labour and Immigration are partnering to complete the COVID-19 Impact Assessment and Recovery Strategy. The initiative will provide a complete and accurate analysis on the impacts to the labour force in the Whitecourt region, including employer and employee needs and challenges. The project will explore the impacts of COVID-19, changes to business and labour force trends, and make recommendations for business and labour force retention and recovery strategies moving forward.

Local consulting and training firm Ballad Group has been contracted to conduct the assessment and provide a proactive plan to address the needs of the business community and its workforce within the context of the pandemic. The Ballad Group team will be conducting interviews with business owners and managers directly in the community beginning mid-September.  

“We’ve been a part of the Whitecourt community since 2014, with many of our staff delivering consulting and training programs directly in the region. We are very excited to build upon our relationships in Whitecourt and provide valuable insights that will support local businesses in the months and years ahead,” stated John Corie, Ballad Managing Partner.

Components of the project include:

  • Conducting a COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment for the Whitecourt region, based on interviews with employers, employees, training providers, post-secondary institutions, and various organizations regarding their recent experiences;
  • Determining immediate labour force needs and challenges, and making recommendations on short-term strategies and programs that will support business and labour force recovery;
  • Identifying long-term challenges and anticipated labour force trends due to COVID-19, and providing strategies and initiatives that will support employees and employers into the future.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have and will continue to change how business and industry hire staff, address labour force challenges, and respond to consumer behavior,” stated Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak.  “Understanding the challenges faced by local businesses will help us build strategies that will help with recovery, growth and sustainability in our region.”

More information will be available at the Whitecourt Business Support Network meeting scheduled for September 16 at 11:30 AM. Interested participants can access the BSN meeting via Zoom videoconferencing, at or by visiting

The solutions-based project will be completed over the next 12 months. To learn more or to inquire about an interview with your business, contact Rhonda Hough, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Whitecourt at 780-778-2273 or