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Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) honours Barrie with innovation award

A Georgian College student (Source: City of Barrie) A Georgian College student (Source: City of Barrie)
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Barrie won a prestigious innovation award at the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO)

At EDCO's 67th annual conference and showcase February 6 – 8, Barrie was honoured with the Innovation in Community Resiliency – Urban Award for its Rapid Skills Micro-Credential Program – Skills Development Fund.

The Rapid Skills Micro-Credential Program partnered with Georgian College and the County of Simcoe.

The City was also a finalist for the following awards:

  • The Tourist Attraction & Tourism Product Development – Urban Award for the 2023 Barrie Airshow
  • The Workforce Development and Resident Attraction – Urban Award for the Rapid Skills Micro-Credential Program – Skills Development Fund, in partnership with Georgian College and the County of Simcoe

"Congratulations to the Invest Barrie team and our community partners on being recognized by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario," said Mayor Alex Nuttall.

"Their outstanding efforts in advancing skills development within the manufacturing sector, coupled with the dedication to enhancing Barrie's appeal as a tourist destination and premier investment-ready city through the 2023 Barrie Airshow, is a commendable achievement."

The EDCO Awards of Excellence is an annual program that recognizes distinctive ideas and initiatives that can become future economic development best practices. Recipients of the EDCO awards are viewed as leaders in economic development. They are often asked to present their efforts and accomplishments at speaking engagements, including the EDCO Conference and Showcase.

The Rapid Skills Micro-Credentials Program

Barrie and partners successfully secured over $1 million in funding through the Skills Development Fund (SDF), partially supported by the Canadian government and the Ontario government, to address skills development and labour shortages within the manufacturing sector.

Working with Georgian College, the County of Simcoe and Simcoe Muskoka Skillforce, the project addressed industry demands for increasing the future manufacturing workforce and enabling current and new employees to access skills training, including upskilling currently employed workers through a micro-credential program.

The 2023 Barrie Airshow

In partnership with Canadian Forces Base Borden, the County of Simcoe, Lake Simcoe Regional Airport and the Downtown Barrie BIA, Barrie organized and hosted the 2023 Barrie Airshow, presented by Pratt Homes, over two days in June of 2023.

The free event brought tens of thousands of visitors to the shores of Kempenfelt Bay and downtown Barrie to enjoy performances of iconic aircraft and inspiring displays of aviation, including the CF Snowbirds, a dual CF-18 tactical demonstration, the CAF Skyhawks, a C-130 Hercules demonstration, and the Northern Stars Aeroteam.

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