Editor's Note: Kate Maddigan is an occasional CKTZ News contributor.
The Cortes Community Economic Development Association has hired Kate Maddigan as its first formal Economic Development Officer.
The position has long been identified as necessary for the association to carry out it's economic vision for the island, according to Chair Colin Funk. He says the move has been about five years in the making and funding has now come through the BC government's rural diversification initiative to hire Maddigan for a two-year stint.
The role is community-driven, Funk adds, and focuses on building strong relationships between stakeholder groups, pursuing partnerships and working relationships with First Nations, the business community, local industry and home-based businesses to create a healthy local economy.
For Maddigan, addressing Cortes Island's housing crisis is a top priority, as well as fostering more economic diversity on the island beyond tourism, such as creating a business plan for value added wood products made from trees harvested locally.
She's also committed to working with other island communities involved in the Rural Islands Economic Partnership organization, to share ideas about what's been successful on Cortes Island and on other islands when it comes to creating economic diversity.
Maddigan and Funk describe opportunities for the Cortes Island economy in the interview below with CKTZ News: