Nova Scotians are seeing new jobs created, enjoying increased access to training, and benefitting from more innovative and competitive businesses, thanks to the province's jobsHere plan.
Since its launch two years ago, jobsHere has supported thousands of people and hundreds of businesses in Nova Scotia. The plan is working.
"The jobsHere plan is helping Nova Scotia turn the corner on decades of the worst economic performance in the country," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "jobsHere is helping ensure that people and businesses of all sizes are ready to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities just around the corner, like the federal shipbuilding contracts, the Maritime Link, the Nova Centre, and renewed interest in our offshore."
Dartmouth-based Akoostix Inc. is one of the more than 325 Nova Scotia companies training employees or making productivity upgrades with support from the province's Productivity Investment Program (PIP).
"My undergraduate degree gave me the general skills I need, but the industry I'm in now is very specialized," said Akoostix employee Ben Bougher. "Taking the advanced acoustic and sonar course gave me the intense training I needed to ramp up and gain the specialized skills to be effective and lead some projects."
Kohltech International in Debert used PIP to help purchase new equipment that is saving time, money and reducing waste materials, allowing the company to become more productive and competitive. Allendale Electronics in Lockeport is ensuring employees have the skills they need to make the most of the opportunities coming to Nova Scotia. Both of these businesses are important rural employers.
jobsHere calls for more innovation to help grow the province's economy. Innovation will help ensure the forestry industry is as important a part of Nova Scotia's future as it has been in the past.
Through an agreement with Resolute Forest Products and the Washington Post Company, the province gained control of the largest block of privately held lands sold in Nova Scotia, enabling the support of thousands of families and providing the opportunity for further innovation in the forestry sector. A new centre for cleaner energy, bioenergy and forestry innovation at the former Bowater Mersey mill in Brooklyn, Queens Co., will also help the province's forestry industry thrive in the future.
jobsHere is also helping to create the winning conditions that attract successful businesses and good jobs to Nova Scotia. Last month, Nova Scotia saw its most significant week of job creation in a decade, with nearly 1,000 good engineering and high-tech jobs. PROJEX Technologies will expand its business in Nova Scotia, creating 440 jobs for new and experienced engineers.
IBM will establish its only Canadian global delivery centre in Halifax, creating 500 new, well-paying jobs. The company will also join forces with NSCC and five of the province's universities to help develop a workforce with the right skills and training for the growing analytics industry.
"When I talk with families, small-business owners and young people across Nova Scotia, I feel their energy and enthusiasm for the opportunities on the horizon," said Paris. "Together, we're building a reputation and workforce that will attract more business and investment, and give our young people more reason to believe they can succeed and raise a family here at home."
Through the province's workforce strategy, thousands of Nova Scotians are getting the right skills for good jobs.
More access to training and apprenticeship helped people like Charles Mmoloke go from dishwasher to municipal design technologist, and encouraged Simon Yip to come home to Nova Scotia to take part in the new Marine Repair Technician program to prepare for future opportunities in the province's growing ocean technology sector.
The province's new START program connects unemployed Nova Scotians with little or no job experience with employers willing to give them the jobs, experience and training they need.
"We have hundreds of workers who are ready to take advantage of some of the most exciting opportunities in our province's history, but don't have experience," said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More. "Working together, we can build a competitive workforce that Nova Scotians and their families are proud to be part of."
In October, the province launched a suite of free tools to help employers and employees sharpen their skills and prepare for the good jobs that are coming to Nova Scotia. The HR Toolkit is an online resource that helps employers recruit, develop and motivate staff. SkillsOnlineNS promotes learning in the workplace with quick and easy access to thousands of online courses, from Microsoft Office, to the fundamentals of globalization. Welcoming Workplaces helps employers engage and retain a more diverse and productive workforce.
In two months, more than 600 people and businesses have signed up to take advantage of SkillsOnlineNS, and have accessed over 2,000 courses. Hundreds of Nova Scotians are also taking advantage the HR Toolkit and Welcoming Workplaces online tools.
"In the past, time away from work for training was very expensive and usually only a few employees had the benefit of traditional training," said Paul Jamieson with Maritect Investigations and Security Ltd. "Now our employees will have more opportunities for learning through advanced education sources in areas that influence their jobs.
"The available information has also assisted myself and my management team. We have a better grasp on today's talent pool and selecting the right people to help my ever-growing business."
All across Nova Scotia, people are learning the right skills for good jobs, businesses of all sizes are becoming more innovative and productive, and Nova Scotia is competing and winning on a global scale.
"Nova Scotia's future does not look like it's past," said Paris. "Growing Nova Scotia's economy means looking at the big picture, it means looking for opportunities of all sizes, and it means making choices that will bring long-term prosperity for families across the province. That's exactly what this government is doing through the jobsHere plan."
Following is a list of 2012 jobsHere highlights:
--new technology and employee training is helping Truro-based Engineered Coated Products increase efficiency, productivity, and enter new markets (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120210003)
--the new Graduate Placement Program encourages employers to hire recent co-operative education grads, and entices more students to stay in Nova Scotia (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120307003)
--support for businesses and jobs in Cape Breton through capital repair funding for the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120123001)
--social enterprises now have access to small-business loans through the provincially-funded Credit Union Small Business Program (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120411001)
--Mulgrave Machine Works used the province's Productivity Investment Program to train employees, increase productivity and compete internationally (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120316003)
--the province's commitment of up to $304 million in loans ensured Irving Shipbuilding's bid won the federal shipbuilding contracts (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120330010)
--Mi'kmaq in Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia will have access to skills and job-readiness training, thanks to the province's partnership with the Unama'ki Economic Benefits Office (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120305002)
--support for Bluedrop Performance Learning to build a defence training and simulation centre, the first of its kind in Canada, and creating over 30 jobs (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120417002)
--the province supported the launch of the Cape Breton Strategic Framework Advancement Project, an initiative aimed at creating good jobs and tapping into the economic development potential in the Cape Breton region (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120420005)
--Tri-Star Industries is expanding its Yarmouth ambulance manufacturing facility (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120423005)
--Eden Valley Poultry is increasing productivity and employing hundreds of people in rural Nova Scotia (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120517004)
--Nova Scotia's construction industry is using new technology to be more competitive (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120522001)
--Cooke Aquaculture will create hundreds of good jobs and strengthen the economy in rural Nova Scotia (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120621002)
--Nova Centre is moving forward, and will create thousands of jobs, attract thousands of new visitors, and revitalize downtown Halifax (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120712005)
--Jazz Aviation, a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation, will expand its Nova Scotia operations and create new jobs (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120716002)
--managers from dozens of companies learned to work more efficiently and built leaderships skills through jobsHere training delivered by the province (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120712008)
--Authentic Seacoast Company is expanding its operations and creating new jobs in Guysborough (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120913005)
--dozens of Nova Scotia business are innovating and increasing productivity thanks to the Productivity and Innovation Voucher program (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20120919002)
--Atlantic Canadian companies involved in clean technology, life sciences, information technology and other high-growth sectors will soon be able to access a new regional venture capital fund (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121010004)
--students, teachers and employers across the province are accessing mobile training equipment and labs to prepare for good jobs (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121023009)
--Duke University is analyzing the range of activities to create, produce, and deliver the arctic offshore patrol ships and research vessels; the opportunities study will help government, companies, and workers make the most of the huge opportunity shipbuilding offers (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121109002)
--community-based businesses are creating jobs and helping to strengthen local economies in Nova Scotia thanks to the Community Economic Development Investment Fund (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121115005)
--students across the province are taking advantage of a fun, hands-on program with robots that strengthen math and science skills to prepare them for the good jobs of the future (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121126002)
--Nova Scotia's creative businesses will expand into new markets, create more jobs, and build stronger cultural communities with new legislation (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121130002)
--thousands of people working in Nova Scotia's forestry industry will benefit from a new centre for cleaner energy, bioenergy and forestry innovation that will help the province's forestry industry thrive in the future (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20121212001)