Alberta SouthWest Achieves International Accreditation
In October 2018 Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development Alliance (AlbertaSW) became the third economic development organization in Canada to achieve Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) designation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
There two earlier AEDOs in Canada are the Greater Halifax Partnership in Nova Scotia and Hamilton City Economic Development in Ontario, and now Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, also in Ontario, became the fourth. There are currently 64 AEDOs world-wide.
The designation process includes a rigorous review of all aspects of the organization's operations: governance, finance, strategic relevance, project outcomes and measures. A final report is completed after a multi-day site visit by an IEDC Review Team.
The resulting Site Review Document for AlbertaSW observes: "As an economic development organization, AlbertaSW has developed a unique regional role, focusing on strategic projects that can only be accomplished as a region. The organization has demonstrated discipline to limit its work to these regional projects and does not provide direct business services, leaving that role to the municipal and local economic development practitioners. This clear delineation of work and close collaboration is an example of how a regional organization with a limited budget can achieve significant regional success and support. The site visit team believes this is a model lesson for other organizations."
Alberta SouthWest found this to be a very enlightening process. The IEDC Team offered valuable insights and learning for administration, board and stakeholders, and it was a positive experience for all concerned.