The Kootenay region home to business operations from many market sectors. Full of exciting and diverse career opportunities at all levels. You could find your niche in sectors including resource extraction, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tourism, education or the arts to name but a few.
Take a look at our top industry sectors below. Then explore the rest of the site to learn more about living in the Kootenays.
Metallurgical activities currently taking place across the region include smelting and refining lead and zinc, as well as production of gold, silver and a vast array of other important metals.
The Elk Valley in the East Kootenays is a major global provider of metallurgical (steel making) coal and responsible for 0.5% of Canadian GDP.
West Kootenay’s metallurgical industry also provides extensive electronics recycling services, ensuring as much of our disposed metals are reused and repurposed as possible. The metallurgical industry has driven the development of robust transportation infrastructure in the Kootenay region.
The region’s technology sector is growing, spurred on by recent implementation of very high speed broadband internet available commercially in most Kootenay communities. Companies in this sector generate significant direct economic spin-offs for the region and growth is projected to continue. An estimated 843 companies employ 15,150 people generating $3.8 billion in revenue. This includes 433 companies employing 6,950 people generating $2.5 billion in revenue in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions and 410 companies employing 8,200 people generating $1.3 billion in revenue in the East Kootenay region.
From large regional hospitals, to community health centers, long-term care facilities and family practice, a large number of jobs are available in the health care sector throughout the Kootenay and Boundary region. In addition to the medical professionals and support staff directly employed at the hospital, it has created numerous spin-off jobs in construction attributed to facility upgrades and expansions that are undertaken.
Seasonal activities like world-class skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking, as well as excellent golfing and some of the best fishing in the world on many of the rivers within the Columbia basin have helped create a thriving tourism sector here in the Kootenays.
The area is popular with visitors throughout the whole year thanks to the diversity of activities available coupled with the stunning scenery.
Many businesses cater to the demands of the tourism sector, providing opportunities for visitors to experience the thrill of fly fishing, backcountry adventures in all seasons, cat and heli-skiing, hiking, biking and white water rafting to name but a few.
The Kootenays enjoys a well represented and varied manufacturing sector. Operations range from small-scale artisan food processing businesses thanks to the excellent locally grown ingredients available, through to niche forestry-related products and larger operations with significant export capabilities.
A broad and experienced workforce helps support the success and innovation found within the sector.
Agriculture and wineries represent a sector ripe with opportunity in the Kootenay Development Region. Agricultural activities primarily include ranching, grain, fruit, and dairy production, nurseries, and grape growing and wine production. Farmers also raise llamas, ostriches, peacocks, goats and other animals to produce soaps, cheeses, eggs, and wool. Creston and the Boundary Area are agricultural leaders in the Kootenay Development Region offering ideal growing climates – comparable to the Okanagan Region.
The success of arts, entertainment and recreation is closely linked to the success that the region has had in attracting tourists.
The density of this sector is easy to see when visiting any of the main tourist centres within the region. From festivals, to artisans, agricultural and heritage attraction, there are vast opportunities for rewarding work in arts and culture.