AIHA Wins Prestigious Economic Development Award

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) was recently recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference earlier this Fall. The prestigious honour is the Gold Rank Award for AIHA’s Heartland Incentive Program (HIP), a project in the category of Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration of the International Economic Development Council.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Twenty-five award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.

“For more than 22 years, the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association has advanced industrial economic development in the region through a teamwork first approach. Working closely with our five municipal members and three associate members, AIHA fosters healthy and meaningful discussions and garners strength through mutual collaboration and common goals,” says Mark Plamondon, Executive Director. “With robust planning, successful promotion, and strong stakeholder relationships, our Association has witnessed economic growth to more than $45.0 billion of capital investment in the Heartland region.”

The Heartland Incentive Program is a novel incentive program offered by the five member municipalities of AIHA to encourage industrial development in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. Municipalities offer incentives to new projects or expansions within the energy value chain that locate within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The program provides incentives valued between 1.0 – 2.5 per cent of the project’s total capital cost, but specific incentive opportunities range depending on the municipality. The Heartland Incentive Program significantly increases the awareness of the region to potential investors and, when coupled with provincial and federal incentives, creates an attractive jurisdiction to do business.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara, President, and CEO Tom Kucharski. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”