More growth reported

Ottawa’s technology sector remains resurgent, according to a report by Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation. OCRI’s annual Technology Industry Survey shows the number of tech-related jobs in the Ottawa-Gatineau region grew by 3% to 81,910 in 2007, while knowledge-based companies increased ranks to 1819 from 1803 in 2006. The OCRI report observes, “The increase is reassuring as the city continues to stabilize from the long-term effects of the tech downturn, but steps need to be taken to ensure that Ottawa can remain in a position of economic growth and attract and retain critical talent.” In 2006, the local economic development agency OCRI.jpgnoted high tech sector jobs rose by 3,340 to 79,466 – a 4.4% increase over 2005 numbers and a new high mark for the capital’s top private sector employer – but optimism was tempered by the continually troubling “growing tech-skills shortage.” While reporting general good health throughout the tech sector, the survey finds the community’s darling offspring, cleantech, solidly in the pink. Though one of the “smaller groups within the Ottawa technology community, the employment numbers have increased at a much faster rate than other larger sectors,” claims the report, while noting that local companies, such as PlascoEnergy, are “poised for substantial growth and are actively searching for qualified critical talent.” The local green-tech jewel will hire about 100 people at corporate headquarters this year alone, according to CEO Rod Bryden, and an additional 40 for each of the several Canadian and international plasma gasification operations it intends to open soon. “Ottawa continues to be Canada's technology leader. The quality of the companies and the people here in Ottawa are the key reasons why Ottawa continues to experience this overall upward trend,” says Jeffrey Dale, president and CEO, OCRI. “Now is the time to make certain that we can continue this growth over the long term with a reliable supply of skilled talent, innovative companies and capital.”

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