MEDIA RELEASE via Chatham-Kent Economic Development
CHATHAM-KENT, ON, February 13, 2023 – Chatham-Kent’s Economic Development Services and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) team have been recognized provincially for their marketing campaign to help local businesses support members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the workplace.
During last week’s 66th annual Economic Developers Council of Ontario Awards of Excellence, the marketing campaign “Supporting 2SLGBTQ+ People in the Workplace” was awarded first place in the newly created category ‘Inclusive Community Based Initiatives & Programming’. The objective of the campaign was twofold: to collaborate with local partners to raise awareness within the local business community of ways to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community and to spread awareness regarding local associations, advocates, groups, resources, and allies.
“The reception this campaign has received is yet another sign that Chatham-Kent is growing; not just in economy and infrastructure, but in the understanding and acceptance of our diverse population,” said Eric Labadie, Economic Development’s Marketing & Communications Officer. “We’d like to thank the DEIJ team for the guidance and collaborative opportunity, as well as the Economic Developers Council of Ontario for the recognition.”
The campaign, aimed at shedding light on resources for businesses that may want to become more inclusive but aren’t sure where to begin, was a collaboration between the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and community partners, namely the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and the CK Gay Pride Association.
“Congratulations to the Economic Development team, community organizations, and local businesses who are supporting 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Chatham-Kent,” said Rebecca Haskell-Thomas, Municipal Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice. “Our efforts help make our whole community better. When people feel safe and welcome, they are more likely to invest, live, and work in Chatham-Kent.”
“We talk a lot about being ‘investment ready’. We work to ensure we’re prepared for investment in terms of things like housing and workforce, but we also need to work towards being culturally ready by helping foster a community of inclusivity,” said Stuart McFadden, Director of Economic Development Services. “We’re a growing community with lots to learn, and through initiatives like this, we’re showing our commitment to moving forward in the right direction.”