Column: Supporting manufacturing

Oct 11-17 is Manufacturing Week in B.C. and an opportunity to showcase how manufacturing contributes to B.C.’s strong and growing economy.

Oct 11-17 is Manufacturing Week in B.C. and an opportunity to showcase how manufacturing contributes to B.C.’s diverse, strong and growing economy.

Manufacturing draws on various sectors of the BC Jobs Plan, supplying raw materials, energy and equipment to produce a wide range of goods for export and domestic markets. Manufacturing generates more than $14 billion in gross domestic product. It creates family-supporting jobs.

Manufacturing creates a range of diverse products across various industries, including in the forestry sector. Pioneer Log Homes of BC is a fantastic success story here in Williams Lake. The company creates unique log homes and then ships them around the world. The homes are rebuilt however the client likes. You can see some of their fantastic work on the reality show Timber Kings on Home and Garden TV. This practical and creative use of wood puts BC on the map, building BC’s presence across the globe.

In addition to forestry, agriculture industry also plays a role in manufacturing. B.C.’s food and beverage processing industry is among the largest of B.C.’s manufacturing industries. In 2014, there were more than 1,800 small and medium-sized firms that generated over $8.5 billion in shipments — more than half-a-billion dollar increase over 2013. Inputs into the food and beverage manufacturing sector include B.C. agriculture and seafood products as well as imported agrifood and seafood destined for value-added processing within the province. Local businesses like Margetts Meat Market support this industry.

Manufacturing has enormous economic and social impacts in British Columbia. Most jobs, directly or indirectly, depend on manufacturing. Our government is committed to working with manufacturers to help increase the profile of the industry, to expand their market share, recruit new talent and improve their ability to compete in global markets. We encourage young people to enter the field and access the training required to pursue rewarding careers in the industry.

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and the Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

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