Thursday, January 3, 2008

Our Future Economy

I consider myself fortunate to have had a demanding and varied corporate management background with the experience gained now serving me well as a real estate broker. I first arrived in Collingwood in 1985 as the result of a corporate transfer with Goodyear Canada. The following two plus years of my tenure at Collingwood's hose plant were tumultuous ones which included the failed hostile takeover attempt of Goodyear by British financier Sir William Goldsmith which cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to fight off. Predicting the ultimate demise of the Collingwood plant in 1987 (I was 20 years ahead in my prediction) I left the company and subsequently spent the next 11 years in Canada and the U.S. managing two companies, both clients of Goodyear neither of which remain in Canada, one in fact has been swallowed up not once but twice in corporate acquistions.
The business environment has indeed changed and survival these days depends on a number of factors not the least of which is a firm, well founded corporate strategy and sound management amongst other things. Collingwood has seen more than it's fair share of plant closures and job losses the most recent being Goodyear and Alcoa. Based on what I feel is a combination of business acumen, experience and just plain common sense I have my own opinion as to the area's future as a viable provider of jobs. As a real estate broker I deal with clients every week that have chosen to migrate to and live in this wonderful area. For certain, it's not the area's job market that is bringing people here. Those coming here to live are not university graduates or young families taking up residence as the result of medium to high paying jobs be they manufacturing or otherwise. Today's arrivals are retirees or those near it, looking to settle in an area where they can live out their "golden" years on the ski slopes and golf courses.
Just as a company needs to develop a sound business strategy, so do the local municipalities and in the case of Collingwood's future economic development, I have yet to see one. The shipyard closed in 1986. In the following 20 years we have seen a host of other plants shut the doors including Harding Carpets, Bendix, Kaufman Furniture, Backyard Products and Nacan. With a qualified effort, more than enough time has elapsed to develop a strategy to backfill at least a portion of these lost positions.
The Alcoa facility has been sold and according to the Town's website is eventually going to create 60 jobs. The arrival of Barber Glass while greatly welcomed and appreciated is a minor victory and small step towards where we need to grow. My next posting will delve into the matter further. In the meantime, I'd like you opinion. Please complete the survey above which asks the simple question. "Do you believe the Town of Collingwood is doing enough to attract new employment?"

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



Email:
rickcrouch@propertycollingwood.com



Direct: 705-443-1037



Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230




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My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.