Medicine Hat College (MHC) has partnered with the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN), JMH & CO and Glenwood & District Economic Development Society to develop a community-based marketing strategy for the Village of Glenwood.
The final plan will provide recommendations to the community on how they can support existing businesses in expanding and attract new investment into the area.
Miranda Davies, instructor from the Division of Arts, Education and Business and project lead says that the college is excited to work alongside the economic development agencies in Glenwood and ARDN.
“This pilot project is a natural next step forward in the business retention and expansion work that we’ve been doing with communities throughout southern Alberta. Through these summer work terms we’ve not only gained insight into the needs of our region but also provided our students with real world experience.”
Beth Lewis, third year business administration student and summer intern explains that the work term has been a welcomed challenge with a steep learning curve.
“I’ve already learned so much. This was posted as a marketing position, however its evolved into way more than that -it’s selling, economic development and management. The experience I am gaining is priceless,” says the marketing major.
Lewis is currently in the research phase. She is busy conducting surveys and collecting data from tourists and industry representatives while gathering information from 40 different communities on best practices.
“I’m currently doing research so that I can present two comprehensive marketing plans, one focusing on tourism and another on industry. We will then present recommendations on what strategies they could put in place to sustain the community.”
So far, Lewis has surveyed 100 tourists to get a feel for their knowledge of the area including, why they are traveling, and if they’ve ever heard of their community or local tourism hot-spots such as Glenwood Pioneer Ice Cream Parlour & Cheese Factory Museum.
She will also survey businesses to determine potential industries that would thrive in the area. Currently, their main economic driver is a steam plant which evaporates milk into powder.
“There is a lot going on in this community. They have great weather, are located in the mountains and water is one of their biggest benefits- this presents a number of opportunities for the area to diversify,” says Lewis.
Davies and Lewis plan to present their findings on August 29 and 30, 2016 at the Glenwood Community Centre.
MHC would like to thank the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) and JMH & CO for their financial contribution. Their support is helping businesses in southern Alberta expand while also providing students from the college real-world experience.
For more information on ARDN visit www.ardn.ca. If you are interested in learning more about JMH & CO visit www.jmhca.com.
For more information on the Division of Arts, Education and Business or to learn about other initiatives at the college visit www.mhc.ab.ca.
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