< Back to blog home

Workforce Strategy: Part of the ONB Advantage

New Brunswick understands the critical importance of companies being able to access great local and international talent. That is why Opportunities NB (ONB) created a Workforce Strategy Team to support our clients’ workforce development and talent recruitment efforts. ONB is the only economic development organization in North America to offer this unique value-added service.

We spoke with Camille Bourque, ONB’s Manager of Workforce Strategy, about her team, their mission, and their results.

What are Workforce Strategists?

ONB Workforce Strategists are located in each of the province’s economic development regions. Our team speaks with New Brunswick employers and job seekers every single day; we know which roles are in demand, and which sectors are seeing the most growth. Workforce Strategists help put those two pieces together.

This team brings a wide range of workforce development and recruitment-related expertise and experience to the table, and we know our respective jurisdictions well.

What is your team’s focus? What does the day-to-day look like?

Our Workforce Team focuses on the three pillars that comprise our organization’s action plan.

The first is Awareness. It is essential that we make people and communities inside and outside New Brunswick aware of the many opportunities available within our key sectors. This means not only job seekers, but parents looking for local opportunities for their children about to enter the workforce.

The second is Workforce Development and Education. We work closely with the Department of Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL) and New Brunswick’s post-secondary institutions to ensure they are connected with New Brunswick industry. We also maintain a frequently updated “Top Jobs” list, a summary of New Brunswick’s key new opportunities. We share this list with academic leaders every month to give them with a glimpse at vacant positions that require specialized skills. It also provides an overview of the sectors in demand across various regions of the province.

Keeping our post-secondary schools updated on the needs of New Brunswick companies helps them prioritize which programs may need to be added or expanded to as part of ongoing curriculum development. One recent example of this work is CCNB’s Cannabis Cultivation Technician program, launched to support the immediate workforce needs of Moncton’s OrganiGram.

And the third piece, which is a major focus for us, is Workforce Attraction and Retention. Working with our partners in PETL’s Population Growth Division and ONB’s own marketing division, Workforce Strategists are developing a host of workforce-related campaigns. These campaigns aim to attract more skilled workers to New Brunswick, both nationally and internationally, repatriate more New Brunswickers, and increase retention of the province’s youth. Our team engages with key partners in NB, building events and new initiatives to help jobs seekers meet the employers. Those events are very successful and keep the momentum going around New Brunswick being an exciting place to live and work.

There are a number of world-class companies operating in New Brunswick, we want New Brunswick’s young people to know that great opportunities aren’t coming to this province — they are already here.

Talk to us about results.

We have had great success helping companies immediately understand New Brunswick’s labour market, saving them a considerable amount of time and money in the process. ONB takes a collaborative approach with our municipalities to make the move as efficient as possible for companies. We make it easy and affordable for businesses to understand how to locate and recruit in New Brunswick.

A recent Telegraph-Journal article (Note: paywalled) featuring comments from ONB CEO Stephen Lund made reference to some of our investment attraction successes via cold-calling. Many of our success stories have included an immigration component; Toronto-based Dream Payments and Silicon Valley’s RevJet are notable examples. These technology companies have brought new arrivals to the province from Russia, Vietnam, and Ukraine. RevJet’s arrival in Saint John was announced in May 2016, and in October of this year, they informed CBC that their New Brunswick workforce was still growing steadily.

Companies like these work with our team for guidance and support on several immigration-related needs, including:

  1. Immigration solutions for current staff looking to make the move to New Brunswick;
  2. Finding the best international talent to further expand their team;
  3. Retaining international students on a permanent basis; and
  4. Helping newcomers connect with multicultural associations and find housing.

New Brunswick is also involved in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, a unique employer-driven approach to attracting and retaining international talent. This is just one example of the many programs and solutions ONB can connect companies with at the provincial and federal levels. Our team’s work makes things easy for not only client companies but for job seekers.

Make Your Move

Job Seekers: make your next career move by visiting NBJobs.ca and browsing the thousands of well-paying open positions in New Brunswick.

Employers: make your move towards becoming the next New Brunswick success story by connecting with our Workforce Strategy team at talent@onbcanada.ca.

Additional Reading

Check out our features on all of the companies mentioned in the Telegraph-Journal article linked above: