The board chair of the Winkler-Stanley Economic Development Corporation (WSEDC) says Mark Sawatsky has hit the ground running since being hired earlier this year.

Sawatsky was hired as the first-ever Business Development and Immigration Officer for the region, a role established by the WSEDC

Chair Leah Klassen, says Sawatsky has been working tirelessly on the tasks they've identified as priorities on their list of strategic goals for year one. Those goals include establishing the office and the brand, examining new business support and development, and working on the immigration and labour pool.

Sawatsky has made great strides in all of those areas, notably in relationship building, added Klassen. "In his short time, he's met with various government officials in regards to immigration and he has been working with businesses as well." She said Sawatsky was meeting with business leaders to see what kind of labour needs exist. "And just as a note, currently there's 218 jobs open, (in WSEDC region)107 are skills related. And if all of the sales targets for the next two years are met, there could be a total of 970 future jobs. "So our region is looking strong with labour needs."

This data comes from a recent survey, conducted by Sawatsky, of 27 businesses in the Winkler/Stanley region alone.