Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) is celebrating 20 years of economic cooperation among local municipalities.
AIHA is a nonprofit group that started working in 1998 to bring sustainable industrial development to the heartland region. Its founding members include Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont County, Sturgeon County and Strathcona County. The City of Edmonton joined in 2010. Bruderheim, Gibbons and Redwater joined a year later as associate members.
"Basically we come together and set policy and work to ensure that when we're doing heavy industrial business attraction, that it's done through one office as opposed to having investors go up to eight,” said AIHA chair and Fort Saskatchewan mayor Gale Katchur. “So it's really about efficiency and being supportive of one another and that's what regional cooperation and collaboration is all about.”
AIHA reports that it has brought $40 billion in investment and thousands of jobs to the heartland in the past 20 years.
Katchur and other elected representatives were at the Fort Saskatchewan Legion on Friday at an event marking the association’s anniversary.
"This is really a celebration and an opportunity to thank everyone in this room who have worked with the Government of Alberta to help us develop these programs that support job creation, diversifying our energy sector and attracting investment,” said Deron Bilous, minister of economic development and trade.
AIHA is aiming to generate another $30 billion in investment by 2030.