In part of the Province’s StrongerBC Economic Plan, the ETSI-BC Forest Impact Recovery (FIR) program received a part of the $185-million support package from the Province of B.C.’s Rural Business and Community Recovery Initiative. $1.3 million has been approved to support 19 Recovery Advisor Positions within the Southern Interior of B.C.
The program intends to support rural communities in the Southern Interior of B.C. that are continually met with changes in the forest sector employment. This applies to communities with populations fewer than 25,000 and non-profit business support organizations helping those communities.
Among the 17 host organizations, Community Futures Thompson Country (CFTC) is one of the five Community Futures offices to receive funding. CFTC’s new program advisor will focus on communities with significant wildfire seasons, recent mill closures or curtailments, declining fibre supply, pine beetle infestations, caribou habitat protection and loss of forest sector employers.
Leslie Groulx, a Clearwater resident and community connector, will be the new FIR Program Advisor within Thompson Country, covering areas such as Barriere, Little Fort, Clearwater, Vavenby and Blue River.
For more than 13 years, Groulx has been a driving factor behind economic development and recovery for communities within the Interior and has substantial experience in management and organizational best practices, including rebuilding the municipal foundation of Lytton, B.C., as interim CAO after the destructive fire in June 2021.
“Leslie has a wealth of knowledge, especially regarding economic and business development in the North Thompson,” said Blair Gray, General Manager of CFTC. “We are excited to have her join the CFTC team through ETSI-BC’S FIR program. We look forward to her delivering support that builds resiliency and sustainability in the business community.”
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Community Futures Thompson Country is a non-profit organization that provides entrepreneurs, business owners and job seekers access to business resources, start-up loan assistance, training and more. The office serves Kamloops and the surrounding communities of Avola, Barriere, Blue River, Chase, Clearwater, Little Fort, McLure, Pritchard, Sun Peaks, Vavenby, and Westwold. For more information or to schedule an interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org.