Workforce Connection: The Power of People, an online summit held Feb. 9-10 in Chilliwack has won CERN an economic development award for 2022. (CERN)

Workforce Connection: The Power of People, an online summit held Feb. 9-10 in Chilliwack has won CERN an economic development award for 2022. (CERN)

Chilliwack Economic Resource Network wins award for its workforce summit event

CERN dreamed up idea of online event in February 2022, Workforce Connection: The Power of People

Staffing is a critical business challenge right now across B.C. and the Chilliwack Economic Resource Network (CERN) was keenly focused on the problem this winter.

The creative idea by network officials to present an online summit focused on hiring and retention strategies has netted them a 2022 BC Economic Development Award.

The award in the “Community Project” category recognizes communities or organizations that have put in place initiatives that provide economic benefits to an entire community or region.

RELATED: Staffing shortages the focus of online summit

CERN dreamed up the idea of the online summit, Workforce Connection: The Power of People, and it ran Feb. 9-10. Attendees joined business leaders to hear how employers were managing to implement fresh hiring and retention strategies in the midst of a global pandemic.

“There have definitely been challenges with workforce retention, and other issues involving human resources,” Netty Tam said at the time as the CEPCO lead on the summit event. “The opportunity of this summit will be the chance to hear from the experts on what works. It opens the dialogue, and promises an innovative approach to a critical challenge facing employers B.C. wide.”

The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) and FortisBC teamed up on April 26 to announce the winners of the awards at the BCEDA’s virtual awards presentation.

BCEDA has given these awards to individuals and groups who have dedicated their time to community-based economic development for the past 30 years.

“This year, we received a number of nominations put forward by communities and economic development professionals showcasing the creativity and smart strategies that encourage economic recovery and resiliency in their region,” said Dale Wheeldon, president and CEO at BCEDA. “All of the nominated projects are great examples of the partnerships required to move B.C. forward. Their efforts to build resilient communities, and thereby a resilient, inclusive provincial economy, are to be congratulated.”

The awards are presented and sponsored by FortisBC.

“We’d like to congratulate all the winners and thank them for putting their energy into keeping B.C strong and resilient as we overcome the challenges related to the pandemic,” said Vanessa Connolly, director, community and Indigenous relations at FortisBC. “In particular, we appreciate those of you who have continued to advance Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in your economic recovery efforts.”

See the list of winners at

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