For Immediate Release
[13 February 2013]
(FREDERICTON, NB) – The Alward Government’s recent announcement of the One-Job Pledge initiative is in-step with the priorities of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. Retaining more graduating students from New Brunswick’s post-secondary education institutions will grow the population, increase the province’s tax base and bring down the average age of a New Brunswicker, which is amongst the highest in the country.
Growing revenues through economic development was a primary message in the chamber’s 2013 pre-budget submission to finance minister Blaine Higgs. Having access to a highly skilled workforce is critical to competing in the modern global economy, as evidenced by the Province’s focus on “Rebuilding New Brunswick through Innovation.”
The widening skills gap in New Brunswick has been a chamber priority for several years now. Its economic development committee has taken on this issue by making plans to hold a community expo called “Choose Fredericton” to try and bridge the disconnect between post-secondary students and the community. Broader than a job fair, the event will introduce students not only to the businesses, but also to the community at large.
“Showcasing Fredericton as an attractive place to begin a career and settle down on a long-term basis is the overall goal of ‘Choose Fredericton’,” stated Laurie Guthrie, co-chair of the committee. “We want to change the perceived narrative that you have to go out west to pursue a career. By highlighting the quality of life in the capital region and the often unconsidered disparities with the relative costs of living throughout the country, we hope to get students to start thinking about Fredericton as their firs option.”
“We have heard from both businesses and students that the costs of training and acquiring needed experience is a primary roadblock to hiring newly graduated students,” added Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton chamber. “We hope that the subsidies provided by the One-Job Pledge will offset these expenses and encourage more employers to hire young workers for available positions.”
Choose Fredericton is tentatively scheduled for the first week on October, 2013. More details will be available at a later date.
With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic and relevant business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.
Contact: Krista Ross, CEO, 458.8006.