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Thursday December 15th, 2011

Posted at 11:15am

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According to a recent survey conducted for the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC), residents of Windsor-Essex enjoy living in the region and are generally optimistic about its prospects for economic growth

Over 1,300 people participated in the online study conducted in the summer by Windsor-based market research firm Sentiens Research Inc.  The study was designed to assess how Windsor-Essex residents feel about a range of economic and quality-of-life topics. This first annual survey will be shared with key stakeholders across the region to assist in strategic planning efforts for 2012.

“This study is about people’s perceptions – not necessarily the actual realities — of our market,” said Ron Gaudet, CEO of WEEDC. “We’re pleased to see that people overall are feeling pretty good about our prospects.”

On average, respondents rated the region’s “overall economic potential” 7 out of 10. They gave the same score for their “overall quality of life”.

The factors cited as the greatest barriers to economic growth were unemployment and diversification of our manufacturing industries.

Most residents feel the economy continues to struggle. 64% rated the current economic situation as “somewhat weak to very weak”, while only 8% rated it as “somewhat strong to very strong”.

76% of respondents are optimistic about the region’s prospects for economic growth over the next five years. Attracting new business and helping current businesses diversify are considered the best ways to replace the region’s lost jobs.

Over 80% felt that Windsor-Essex is a great place for raising a family and for retiring. Police and ambulance services, post-secondary education, affordable housing and climate received the highest ratings among quality-of-life factors. Employment opportunities received the lowest score.

Over two-thirds of respondents believe that the region suffers from a poor “self-perception” while over 80% feel that the region is under appreciated by the rest of Canada.

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