ESTEVAN - The City of Estevan has announced the hiring of Angud Singh as the new economic development manager.
Singh's first day was April 17 and he was formally introduced at the May 8 meeting of Estevan city council.
Singh comes to the city from the Greater Toronto Area. He has spent time working in economic development at the municipal level with the County of Frontenac, with projects on immigration and the K&P Trail.
He also assisted with an app to get digital wayfinding for small businesses.
"I have some other experience in economic development with doing some projects for different municipalities," he said.
Singh has about a year in economic development. But his main background is in banking with Scotiabank and RBC.
"I had the chance to develop some business acumen, some small business skills, entrepreneurship skills and relaxation action skills in my time as a banker," he said.
Singh views Estevan as a community open to change.
"I think the city wants to make things happen. I feel a spirit of positivity and I do think they want to walk the walk," he said.
Singh told the Mercury that he was drawn to economic development because of the possibility to make a difference and to do more community-based work, as opposed to the private sector, where he didn't have options to make an impact beyond the institution.
"There's a desire for meaningful work that actually makes me feel good and makes me feel fulfilled," said Singh.
Prior to coming here, Singh did his research on the community and he liked what he saw.
"There seemed to be opportunity, and there seemed to be a legitimate problem that could be solved and tackled, specifically the initiative to transition away from coal, diversify the economy and bolster the economy," said Singh.
His main responsibilities will be to take charge of the municipal coal transition assistance program and help revamp the economic development committee.
"I have a work plan in terms of some of the projects that I'm looking at proposing to council, such as an immigration angle as well as the tech angle, ultimately just trying to drive new business starts in the region, bolster technology and work on creating and retaining jobs in the region," said Singh.
Projects such as the proposed biomass facility in the northeast corner of the city would be among those he could find himself working on.
Singh said he has enjoyed working for the city thus far. Everyone is approachable from Mayor Roy Ludwig to city manager Jeff Ward. He's also been working with Jacquelyn Massey-Rounds in tourism and Jackie Wall with the Estevan Chamber of Commerce.
"It's a role where you interact with stakeholders frequently, and you're always juggling your times and your priorities."
Singh said the city is primed for opportunity. He recognizes there will be challenges along the way, but he sees the potential for technology, new business starts, quality immigration, a greater digital platform for small businesses and more.
And he said he doesn't feel pressured by uncertainties in the community.
"I feel there is an opportunity to come up from there and build, so it's the best time to make an impact."
Ludwig said the city is excited to have Singh in Estevan and he knows Singh will do a "tremendous" job.