A fair amount of CED activity is happening in Alberta; however, it is often not identified as CED. Additionally, the role FCSS (Family & Community Support Services) plays in CED is usually unrecognized – we hope to change that by telling the FCSS story – raising awareness of the tremendous leadership and support that FCSS provides to CED, and highlighting the potential for increased CED activity in Alberta. How does FCSS fit in CED? Our province has a flourishing economy but we know that many, many people are still missing out on the Alberta Advantage.
We’re also seeing a need to better support rural Alberta, which is experiencing a loss of opportunities through centralization and the movement of people and businesses to larger urban centers. A key component of CED is its ability to help rebuild and create a stronger social community through revitalization, creation of small business, life and work skills opportunities, and chances for marginalized citizens to get involved and improve their lives. CED brings social conscience to the business sector, enhancing both in the community. We feel that awareness of what can happen through Community Economic Development, along with knowledge of different approaches to CED, can help us continue keeping citizens engaged and connected in strong, vibrant communities. This is where real change is made! We hope this year’s Storybook will not only inspire, but also illustrate concrete ways in which change can be made. It’s clear from the stories we received that it’s true that one person really can make a difference, and a determined group of people really can change the community.