In order for Alberta to continue to be the country’s economic engine, all regions in the province need to be able to attract investment. That is why Alberta’s government has allocated part of its Investment and Growth Fund specifically to rural Alberta.

“We continue to work hard to make Alberta the best place to do business. Our Investment and Growth Fund is one more tool we have to attract investment and jobs to our province. It is a signal to investors that we are serious and laser focused about growing our economy and working with businesses to make that happen.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

Southland Trailer Corp., a family-run business, is the first recipient of funding through the IGF rural stream.  

Working with Invest Alberta Corporation, the government awarded $2.06 million from the rural stream of the Investment and Growth Fund to support the company’s expansion, including doubling its production and creating 250 jobs.

“This investment is great news for our province and a prime example of the important role rural areas play in our economy. This is the first use of the fund’s rural stream, and I look forward to many more exciting, innovative investments in Alberta businesses outside larger centres.”

Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development

The province first introduced the $10-million deal-closing fund in 2021. In Budget 2022, it expanded the Investment and Growth Fund to $15 million annually by adding $5 million dedicated to rural economic development.

The fund was developed to increase Alberta’s competitiveness to encourage investment in the province. Its rural stream ensures areas outside of our major centres benefit and can attract investment.

Investing in southern Alberta

Minister Fir and Minister Horner, with Invest Alberta, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and the Southland Trailer team.

“Southland Trailer Corp. is thrilled to work with the Government of Alberta on our new expansion.We look forward on continuing to provide new job opportunities, and strive to make southern Alberta a pinnacle in the manufacturing industry. The new jobs provided by this expansion will help boost Lethbridge's economy and provide more opportunity to the people of Lethbridge. We look forward to bringing new team members of all skill sets to Southland Trailer Corp. Visit our  website to apply.”

Monty Sailer, president and CEO, Southland Trailers

“Southland Trailers is a homegrown Alberta success story, and their expansion is evidence of the opportunity for investment and growth in Alberta. Southland’s expansion in southern Alberta is another example of high-impact, high-value investment in Alberta that creates jobs, supports our local communities, and grows Alberta’s innovative edge in manufacturing.”

Rick Christiaanse, CEO, Invest Alberta Corporation

“As rural Alberta is the province’s economic driver, the government’s announcement of an additional five million dollars to attract investment and growth to rural communities is great news. This funding will support more rural innovation, economic diversification, and job creation. It will also further increase the profile of rural Alberta as a prime investment destination for companies seeking a strong workforce and willing municipal partners.

Paul McLauchlin, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta

Investment and Growth Fund continues its success

The project with Southland Trailers Corp. builds on the IGF’s  previous success.

In 2021, the government announced it attracted Ontario-based GoodLeaf Farms to build a 74,000-square foot indoor vertical farm in Calgary with the help of a $2.73-million award from the IGF.

In July 2022, wallboard manufacturer CGC announced it would build a plant in Wheatland County, thanks to a deal-closing award of $3.74 million from the fund.

Quick facts

  • The IGF allocates $15 million annually to attract high-impact investments to the province, $5 million of which is dedicated to investments outside Alberta’s major urban centres.
  • IGF is geared to attract investment to Alberta or retain investment that might otherwise leave the province.
    • Funding is disbursed when companies demonstrate that their projects have met milestones determined through the application process and resulting grant agreement, such as the number of jobs created, wage levels and the size of the capital investment.
  • Alberta’s IGF was created to meet Alberta’s unique needs, while drawing on investment-support programs in other jurisdictions.
  • Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma all have funds to attract investment to their jurisdictions.

About Southland Trailers

Southland Trailer Corp. is a family-owned and operated business founded in 1980. It employs 380 employees in the Lethbridge area. Southland Trailer Corp. is an incubator where innovative ideas thrive and flourish as it strives to adapt to market fluctuations and consumer demands. A major advantage that Southland Trailer Corp. has over other facilities is its capability of in-house fabrication. This allows it to “think outside the box” when designing or improving products. Minimal outsourcing means tighter control over production runs and the ability to implement customer feedback immediately during the prototyping phase.