According to ATB chief economist Todd Hirsch, the Fort Saskatchewan area is poised to do well as the economy enters a period of growth.
Hirsch was in Fort Saskatchewan at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Apr. 4 to speak about global and regional economic trends.
"Fort Saskatchewan, the whole heartland, the broader Edmonton area, it's fared through the recession in better shape than, for example, Calgary or Fort McMurray which are much more focused on energy extraction," Hirsch said. "Fort Saskatchewan, you're kind of in the hub here of upgrading, refinery, chemical production, more diversity in the economy. And a result I think you'll come through, now that the recession is behind us, I think you'll come through this period of growth in reasonably good shape."
Hirsch believes it's time for Alberta to drop the recession mentality and to instead focus on growth.
He pointed to important features that give Alberta's labour market an edge.
"We're a younger population than many others," he said. "We are a highly trained and highly educated workforce. Most of all, we are a very entrepreneurial minded labor market."
Hirsch's presentation touched on five key economic themes including pipelines, international trade, energy prices, automation and household debt.