The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) is the proud recipient of the Community Project of the Year Award from the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) for its Okanagan Young Professionals (OYP) Collective program. The award was presented at the BCEDA’s annual Economic Summit in Vancouver on April 28, 2015.
Established in February 2012, the OYP Collective, the first program of its kind facilitated by an Economic Development Organization in Canada, has become the collective umbrella that fosters and supports the existing community groups by opening the lines of communication, helping cross-pollinate memberships, as well as hosting its own outstanding events and activities, all with a focus and shared vision of creating a dynamic, vibrant and engaged culture that attracts and retains talented professionals in their 20’s and 30’s to the Okanagan Region.
The OYP has gained significant traction over the last three years:
- To date the OYP has raised over $260,000 in funds and services for non-profits and charities.
- Over 3000 volunteer hours of business service valued at $150,000 (accounting, web development, business planning, HR, etc.) have been provided to local not-for-profit agencies.
- Social media reach has increased exponentially to 1019 followers on Twitter, 1162 likes on Facebook, 660 monthly website visitors, and 455 newsletter subscribers with a weekly reach of up to 1500.
The Community Project Award recognizes a community or regional partnership that demonstrates ongoing economic development work and activities. Criteria for submissions include the extent of economic impact on the community; the development of strong relationships among participants; innovation, originality, cost effectiveness and relevance and transferability to other communities.