Economic Opportunity Assessment Studying Current Challenges and Opportunities in Wood Buffalo

(Fort McMurray, AB) – In the wake of the May 2016 wildfire, an Economic Opportunity Assessment is being conducted this week to better understand the current economic climate in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and to plan future supports.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) Economic Development Department and the Recovery Task Force have invited a team of 10 experts in economic development following a natural disaster to conduct this in-depth assessment.

The team, led by Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), will work with local businesses and key stakeholders to study the current challenges, the progress of recovery, and opportunities to improve the economic outlook of our community as a whole.

“EDA is pleased to bring together this team of experts, because we know that economic developers have a critical role to play in economic and business recovery efforts,” said Leann Hackman-Carty, EDA CEO. “Many communities across North America have experienced natural disasters in the past, and have valuable expertise to share with others. By bringing together a team of economic development professionals with specific expertise and experience, we are able to help support the RMWB’s ongoing economic recovery efforts.”

This assessment is made possible thanks to funding and support from the Government of Alberta. A report based on the assessment findings will be delivered in March and will include short-, medium- and long-term recommendations for success in the business community, which drives job creation, workforce development, and local commerce.

“We are excited to partner with the team from EDA as we work to better understand where there are opportunities to improve the future of Wood Buffalo,” said Natasha Hartson, RMWB Economic Development Department. “Thanks to this we can better support the business community and accelerate the economic recovery of the region.”

For more information about the assessment, email or visit or visit