Alberta Energy Corridor

Did You Know . . .  As the Alberta Energy Corridor attracts and facilitates economic development in the Athabasca, Boyle and Wandering River area, Athabasca can benefit in a variety of ways.


The Alberta Energy Corridor (AEC) is about increasing employment and community stability through economic development

Alberta Energy Corridor

The Alberta Energy Corridor (AEC) is an industry/government funded agency focused on economic development in the Athabasca, Boyle and Wandering River area. As the AEC attracts and facilitates development, Athabasca can benefit in a variety of ways, both economically and socially.

The AEC as an agency is led by a 13-person board comprised of regional industry, municipal governments and members of the public. The mandate of the AEC is to diversify the region by attracting businesses that will increase long-term employment and community stability.

The AEC website explains that the corridor is centrally located to all major energy plays – Fort McMurray, Wabasca/Desmarais and Cold Lake – and occupies a key portion of the north-south transportation route between the Athabasca oilsands region of northern Alberta and refinery row, adjacent to Edmonton.

Commercial and industrial businesses that provide services to this northern Alberta industrial and energy hub will find the corridor to be an accessible and economic location from which to operate. It is these types of businesses and services that the AEC aims to attract.

Athabasca Town Councillor Richard Verhaeghe believes that by attracting these businesses, and the spin-off businesses needed to serve them, the town will benefit economically and will experience a growth in population and in increased amenities needed to support that growth.

“The AEC is bringing exposure to the area,” says Richard. “Interested companies want to know what amenities are available to benefit their employees, and Athabasca is the municipality with the most amenities to offer.”

He notes that existing businesses in Athabasca will also benefit as the corridor develops and the need for goods and services diversifies and expands. In fact, the AEC will act as a voice for local businesses and will work with them to increase their exposure and to help make business-to-business introductions and connections.

Jodie Pruden, AEC Executive Director, echoes that sentiment, noting that the agency is there to facilitate clear communication between municipalities, the community and industry.

“The AEC can help to make tangible connections and that can translate into direct business development,” says Jodie. “We are the industry liaison. Industry may not know what communities are here, what amenities are available. The AEC has that information and can provide all the demographics.”

Athabasca and other area communities can leverage their information, their resources, their dollars and therefore their exposure and appeal by establishing partnerships with and through the AEC.

“We really need to articulate the regional partnerships and how communities can think big when there is the power of collaboration,” Jodie explains. “The AEC is that one body that can go and connect our communities with industry, with government, with resources such as labour, education, innovation and technology. That translates into dialogue between bigger players who say, ‘Hey, that community has got it together. We want to be part of it, we want to invest here, we want our people to live here. We see opportunity here.’ ”

The ultimate aim is enhanced economic development, long-term employment and community stability throughout the region.

“The AEC facilitates all of that because together we have the credibility and longevity to stay consistent with the influencers of growth and development,” says Jodie.

More information about the AEC can be found on the Alberta Energy Corridor website or by calling 780-689-0002.

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