Sometimes quiet but still having a large presence in the business community on the Peninsula, generating a lot of jobs and revenue, companies in the local industrial manufacturing sector are the focus of a tour hosted by the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce this month.
Already, a wait list is being taken for the Tour of Industry on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The chamber’s committee chair, Wendy Everson, says the day-long tour is a chance for area businesses to connect with decision-makers. Area mayors and councils, provincial and federal-level politicians, the media and other chamber members are being invited. Six companies are on the tour — which last ran in 2010.
“The tour is for those businesses to showcase what they do,” Everson said. “It’s also a chance to get the decision-makers into each place.”
That’s important, she continued, as many industrial companies employ a lot of people and have been seeking ways to expand worker housing opportunities on the Peninsula.
“It’s a real need,” Everson said. “Here, there are full-time workers with families who need to find homes. This issue will come up on the tour.”
The trip will take delegates to industrial areas on Keating X Road and to the Sidney/North Saanich Industrial Park on the west side of Highway 17. One of the participants is the Victoria Airport Authority. YYJ has an $8.1 million terminal modification project in the works this fall and will offer a site visit during the tour.
Everson said there are plenty of companies in this sector that contribute a lot to the local economy.
“Just drive across the highway, they are really the big players. Vancouver Island Helicopters, for instance, they are doing so much work here and internationally.”
Everson said she expects the tour, which is a by-invitation only affair, to be full soon.
“It’s very popular,” she said, “and our chamber is doing a wonderful job in representing all the sectors involved.”
The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Everson continued, represents businesses in local retail, services, marine, industrial and technology sectors.