Key Industries

The SouthGrow region has a diverse range of traditional and emerging industries:

Agriculture

Agriculture is the main industry in southern Alberta and SouthGrow has the oldest agriculture area in the province with extensive ranching and farming activities. Some of the largest ranches in Canada are operated in the region. There are over 3,200 farms in the area, showing breadth and stability of farm production in the area.  Supported by the strong agriculture economy, SouthGrow has a number of processing plants that distribute their value added products around the globe. This cluster is supported by a number of medium and small scale operations in the region as well.  Irrigation in the region creates opportunities by bringing people, employment and economic stability.  To learn more about Agriculture in SouthGrow, click here.  Detailed agriculture statistics for the region are also available on the Alberta Ag and Forestry website and the Ag Canada website.

Alternative Energy

SouthGrow’s geography, climate and research strengths are well suited to a sustainable energy economy, with municipalities already participating in various solar, wind and bio-diesel initiatives.  The SouthGrow region is home to the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP), a partnership of 40 municipalities in south central and south western Alberta that facilitates the development of alternate energy systems and attracts corresponding businesses.

Architecture, Engineering and Construction

Architecture, engineering and construction in the SouthGrow region are characterized by growth in the residential, commercial, industrial and institutional activity in most communities.  To learn more about this industry in the SouthGrow region, click here.

Building Products Industry

The building products industry is related to the architecture, engineering and construction industry, all of which in the SouthGrow region are characterized by an increase in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional activity.  Within the region, there is a cluster of building material companies ranging from stone to trusses that supply the new home as well as renovations markets.  A variety of small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the region also focus on secondary wood products ranging from home and office wood products to cabinet makers.  Pre-manufactured housing construction is also strong in the region.  To learn more about Building Products, click here.

Metal Fabrication

SouthGrow is home to many large plants thriving due to a skilled workforce and good proximity to markets. Major products include architectural aluminum extrusions, sheet metal products, ferrous castings, waste disposal equipment and truck box and trailer fabrication.

The region's strong residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional activity has provided a base for the sector as has the oil and gas sector, which has created a demand for  companies providing services such as welding and tank management in Taber, Vulcan, Lethbridge and Claresholm. The development of renewable energy systems (i.e. wind turbines) and structures that incorporate environmental designs and products are increasing, contributing to diverse growth in the sector as well.  More details on the growing Metal Fabrication industry is provided here.

Manufacturing

The latest edition of the Competitive Alternatives Study by KPMG found the Lethbridge region to have comparatively lower cost indices across several sectors including: manufacturing, research and development, and software design. 

Core industries operating in the Lethbridge area report that our lower cost of living allows them to offer more flexible salaries and benefit rates. More information on Manufacturing in the SouthGrow region is provided here.

Retirement

There are many seniors aged 65 and over in the SouthGrow region.  Retirement living options in the region include private sector accommodations, and public/private partnerships partially funded with public funds.  Public/private partnership facilities include independent facilities, enhanced living facilities, designated assisted living facilities and extended care facilities.  More information about the Retirement Living sector as well as the opportunities provided in the region can be found here.

Tourism

Tourism is strong in the region given the varied natural landscapes and exceptional natural attractions. The region attracts an average of 550,000 visitors annually. Seventy percent of those visitors are Albertans. To learn more about tourism in the SouthGrow region, click here.

Opportunities in SouthGrow

SouthGrow Regional Initiative has a number of opportunities that may be seized.  These include:

Opportunity Profiles

SouthGrow has made profiles on the opportunities the region can offer. These profiles have been translates into the following languages: