Economic Development Working Group - Terms of Reference

Overview · Minutes/Agendas

Mandate

The Economic Development Working Group will aim to provide local perspective, guidance and expert strategic advice to the Niagara Region Economic Development Department on policies, procedures and initiatives.

Goals / Purpose

The primary role of the Economic Development Working Group is to:

  • Provide advice to Niagara Region on policies, procedures and strategic direction that should be considered for the purpose of encouraging job creation, sustaining employment and business development in Niagara
  • Provide suggestions that may have financial implications
  • Advise on the selection of market sectors supported by Niagara Region with sector experts as they change, shift and expand
  • Advise on new business attraction opportunities, programs or strategies
  • Advise on business expansion and retention opportunities, programs or strategies
  • Advise on potential partnerships
  • Provide a conduit to the local business community
  • Identify barriers and opportunities in the community to direct strategic direction
  • Advise on the dissemination of information from the Region to the local business community and partners
  • Act as champions for economic development in Niagara region
  • Provide advice on other issues as requested by the Director of Economic Development

Reporting Structure

The Economic Development Working Group will report, via the Director of Economic Development, to Regional Council through the Planning and Economic Development Committee.

Budget

There shall be no compensation payable to the members of the Working Group.

Membership

Composition

Membership for the Economic Development Working Group shall not exceed a maximum of 14 members.

Membership for the Economic Development Working Group shall include:

  • The Director of Niagara Region Economic Development
  • One business representative of the finance sector
  • Two representatives of the post-secondary education sector
  • One business representative within the industrial sector
  • One business representative of the real estate sector
  • One business representative within the innovation sector
  • One labour representative
  • One representative with business experience in international trade
  • One representative of the transportation/logistics sector
  • One business representative of the marine transportation sector
  • One representative of the regional tourism sector
  • Two business owners (manufacturing, tourism, and agribusiness)

All attempts will be made to stay within the guideline composition; however, if the applications received or the qualifications of applicants do not fully address the guideline composition criteria, the most capable and qualified applicants will be recommended for appointment to fulfill the membership composition.

Term

The term of membership shall be a maximum of two (2) years and the membership shall be approved by Council in accordance with membership requirements in the Terms of Reference. Members may have the option to re-apply for additional terms after having been off the Working Group for one full term.

Privacy

The meetings of the Economic Development Working Group are public. Members should be aware that their names will be in the public realm and a list of membership may be provided when requested. Member information, other than name or municipality, will be kept confidential in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Roles and Responsibilities

Chair and Vice Chair

A Chair and Vice Chair will be elected from the Working Group members at the first meeting of the new term of the Working Group to preside over meetings and Committee business.

It is the role of the Chair to preside over meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively.

It is the role of the Vice Chair to preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair and to perform any other duties delegated by the Chair or as assigned through a majority vote.

Working Group Members

All Economic Development Working Group members, including the Chair and Vice Chair, have the responsibility to help achieve the Economic Development Working Group's Mandate and Goals/Purposes. Members are also responsible for:

  • Reviewing meeting materials in advance of the meetings and arriving prepared to provide a broad perspective on the issues under consideration
  • Working diligently to complete assigned activities
  • Agreeing to describe, process and resolve issues in a professional and respectful manner
  • Providing input to help identify future projects or strategic priorities for future years' work
  • Communicating activities of the Working Group to groups represented or those who may have an interest and offer information back to the Working Group

Resources

The Economic Development Department is the designated lead department providing resource support for the Economic Development Working Group; however, the Working Group also has access to the technical expertise of staff from other Regional departments as may be required. It is recognized that staff time and the level of participation will be dependent on other departmental priorities as determined by senior management and/or Regional Council. As required, additional resources may be sought. Additional resourcing may be required for projects with senior levels of government.

Meetings

The Economic Development Working Group shall meet quarterly; however, additional meetings may be scheduled to deal with any urgent matters.

Amendments to the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference should be reviewed and refined at a minimum of every four years to ensure that they remain current and meaningful.

Proposals to amend the Terms of Reference shall require the approval of a majority of the members present. Proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference shall be submitted to Regional Council for approval through the Planning and Economic Development Committee and shall take effect only upon the approval of Council.


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