At the March 18 meeting of Sault Ste. Marie City Council, a unanimous vote approved $400,000 in funding from the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Fund to support the $5.2M planned expansion for the Algoma University School of Business and Economics. The funding will be used over the next three fiscal years to support a four-phase development aimed at generating enrolment growth and program expansion initiatives within the School of Business and Economics.
“We are pleased to support Algoma University on this important initiative which aligns directly with our Future SSM project,” said Tom Vair, deputy CAO, Community Development and Enterprise Services. “The Future SSM community development plan identified the importance of growing our post-secondary institutions, supporting our youth, growing entrepreneurship and attracting newcomers to the community – this project addresses all of these important goals.”
As a direct result of this funding, new training opportunities for industry, government and small businesses will be available, including post-graduate certificate programs, customized training packages, and future MBA studies. Asima Vezina, president of the University shared with City Council that “this project is aligned with the goals of Future SSM. The Business and Economics program is one of the fastest growing programs in our university and this increased enrollment is and will continue to have a tremendous impact on our local economy. Currently, the school has over an $8.73M annual direct/indirect economic impact on the city."
Vezina shared that with the expected growth and the new space, that number is expected to grow to $14.5M.
Further outcomes of the project shared with council includ a larger and more skilled talent pool, attraction of professionals and families from around the world, and increasing overall tourism within our community.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Mayor and members of City Council for their unanimous support of the strategic expansion of the School of Business and Economics at our Sault Ste. Marie campus,” shared Cathy Denomme, director of the school. “The success of this project is of critical importance to our collective efforts and we look forward to the continued development of our partnership to help stimulate economic growth while ensuring the long-term success of Algoma University in alignment with the efforts of Future SSM.”
The construction project is expected to commence in Spring, 2020.
Expansion of the School of Business and Economics has been identified by both the Algoma University Board of Governors and the Academic Senate as a key strategic priority as the institution strives to grow enrolment to 3,000 students by 2023-24.
Further information on the School of Business and Economics is available here.