Destiny Sault Ste. Marie is a unique partnership. Its members represent every local economic development organization, all three levels of government, post-secondary institutions and the private sector. Destiny Sault Ste. Marie is a collaborative effort of its partners and acts as their common voice. Destiny Sault Ste. Marie created and maintains the community’s Economic Diversification Strategy.
The objectives of Destiny Sault Ste. Marie include, but are not limited to the following:
- Act as a “common voice” of the Destiny partners on local economic development matters;
- Share information on economic diversification initiatives and opportunities to enhance development and coordinate partner activities when required;
- Act as a “community resource” to provide advice and assistance to the private and public sector on major projects;
- Engage community leaders and stakeholders in the development of key strategic priorities and integrate federal and provincial economic development strategies and initiatives (i.e., Northern Growth Plan) within the local strategies and actions;
- Review and update the Destiny SSM Strategic Plan on a bi-annual basis to identify priorities, economic opportunities and community champions; and
- Provide an annual report to City Council and partner Boards on key economic indicators, the status of major projects, and the activities of the Destiny Steering Committee.
In 2001, the Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area (CDC), with financial assistance from FedNor, established an Economic Development Committee to respond to concerns regarding Sault Ste. Marie's longer-term economic future. The committee recognized that more deliberate collaboration with community stakeholders would yield significant benefits to Sault Ste. Marie. The committee worked with key business and economic development partners to develop “Destiny Sault Ste. Marie." The plan provides a common strategic direction for various organizations to work together to diversify the local economy.
The first economic diversification strategy was completed in November 2002. A revised strategy was issued in March 2003. In 2009, an updated economic diversification plan was approved based on seven strategic priorities. During this time, the Destiny Sault Ste. Marie Steering Committee has continued to monitor local economic development programs and prepare various strategies consistent with the original mandate of economic diversification.
Initially, Destiny Sault Ste. Marie had the services of a full-time managing director, support staff and external resources. Given the need to continue to coordinate and support economic diversification with reduced funding, new terms of reference have been prepared setting out key objectives and responsibilities of the partners.
The Destiny Sault Ste. Marie Steering Committee does not duplicate the work of its individual partner members nor undertake specific projects. The committee’s focus is on collaboration among partners and the identification and support of strategic issues as set out below.