Janine North, Northern Development Initiative Trust
For Janine North, a telltale sign of the growth in Central and Northern B.C. is the amount of money being invested in infrastructure. She says funds have been flowing to expand ports, roadways and airports. One such project is Terrace’s Northwest Regional Airport expansion. It received a $250,000 grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust of which Janine is the chief executive officer.
“It’s about building a stronger North, the business community, the local government and First Nations and non-profits. We funnel out funding from the trust to build a stronger and more diverse economy.”
That funding covers 80 per cent of the province. The region it covers, Central and Northern B.C., is expected to see incredible growth as proposed liquefied natural gas and pipeline projects get the green light.
North, who has built an impressive resume with positions ranging from managing logging and trucking companies to being the governor of the Business Council of BC, knows there will be lots of jobs and adds that she would like training to take place locally.
“We need to bring people up to train and to see if life here is for them.”
She says there’s a huge advantage for people who leave major cities such as Vancouver and Victoria.
“You can be educated and find work in your field. You can buy a home. There are great opportunities and wonderful quality of life.”
While some businesses are already seizing new opportunities, others are still figuring out what the growth means for them. One thing is for certain says Janine, there’s lots of change ahead.