file

Report shows Kootenay tech sector is growing

The Kootenay Technology Sector Assessment 2020 is the first of its kind in the region

Submitted by KAST

The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) and Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) have been working together to measure the tech sector’s impact and its economic health within the West Kootenay region. KAST is thrilled to present the Kootenay Technology Sector Assessment 2020, the first of its kind in the region.

This report assesses the tech sector’s business climate in the region and gives an overview of the local workforce. It paints a picture of the state of the tech sector, exploring business structure, financial health, the impact of COVID-19 and highlighting benefits and challenges unique to the location. This report provides vital information on the economic impact analysis and outlook, which will help guide future economic and community development strategies that strengthen and expand the regional tech sector.

“The goal of this project is to ultimately understand the economic impact of our regional tech sector, attract new talent, strengthen our current workforce and inform policy and decision makers,” said KAST Executive Director, Sean Smillie.

Despite its unique challenges, the Kootenay technology sector is thriving, and advanced manufacturing, cleantech, and cannabis are promising candidates for future growth. Close collaboration with policy-makers and local stakeholders could unearth untapped potential and elevate the region’s tech sector to contribute significantly to provincial success.

A few highlights from this report include:

The regional technology sector employs an estimated total of 3,426 full-time workers with an additional 512 part-time and casual employees.

Wages reported for the Kootenay region are below provincial wages within the sector; yet surpass the industrial average.

The majority of the local tech workforce is 35 years and older, and companies report finding skilled staff to be one of the most prominent challenges for the region.

Most technology businesses in the region are small, with an average annual revenue of $515,057, and due to size, research and development investments are also comparably low.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees in the Kootenay region were the least likely to have lost their jobs, with less than one employee laid off per business on average.

For 2019, the Kootenay tech sector reports a combined direct ($405 million) and indirect ($120 million) economic impact for the sector with a total economic impact of $525 million. Even though the region’s tech sector poses a small contribution to the provincial economy, it also demonstrates immense potential.

Businesses project an increase in revenue of 21 per cent for the upcoming year. Many companies report expansion plans within the next three years, and 62 per cent of all businesses look to increase staff numbers over the coming three years.

For more information, check out the full report at kast.com/about/kootenaytechsectorassessment.

The project was funded by Mitacs Accelerate and the BC Rural Dividend Program.

kootenayTechnology

Just Posted

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open the 2021 season on Oct. 8 against the Cranbrook Bucks in Cranbrook, and will have their home opener the next night against the same Bucks. Photo: Jack Murray
BC Hockey League announces 54-game schedule to begin in October

Trail Smoke Eaters open season with home-and-home series versus Cranbrook Bucks

Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

Daryl Jolly co-founded the college’s digital arts program

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read