Repatriating to actual jobs

I still remember the vivid satire of Bernard Lord’s attempt to repatriate New Brunswickers back in 2004. It was exaggerated in tone but the message made the point. You can’t repatriate people if you don’t have a compelling reason – i.e. for working folks – a good job.

So this is a good example of repatriation. My old colleague, Ian Cavanagh, himself a repatriated Maritimer, is now trying to attract skilled IT workers back to the region to work in good jobs.

Ambir is pleased to announce the opening of a new office at 61 Carlton Street, Fredericton and the addition of key new hires, Heidi (Hallett) Morton, Brian Wilson and Trevor Titus, all of whom were originally from New Brunswick. “We are pleased to announce the opening of our new office in downtown Fredericton and excited to welcome these talented IT Professionals back home,” said Ian Cavanagh, Chief Executive Officer of Ambir. “Based on Ambir’s business growth over the past year, coupled with our belief that the region is well positioned to grow as global IT outsourcing continues, we feel that it was the right time to invest in the establishment of an Ambir office in Fredericton. In addition, we believe that by creating exciting and challenging opportunities for IT Professionals abroad, we can repatriate them to our region. The skills and experiences that these individuals bring back to the province are invaluable and enabling Ambir to further strengthen our value proposition with existing clients and to attract new business to our region.”

Quality of life, cost of living and family and friends are all key reasons why Heidi, Brian and Trevor decided to return home. But finding suitable employment was also a critical decision factor in returning to New Brunswick.

Cavanagh makes a good point. People that have moved away and viewed the world from a different perspective bring something to the table that folks who never left can’t. Consider our old friend Scott-the-Slightly-Misplaced-in-New-Brunswick-Sorry-Centrist. I’d like to think that my seven years outside NB also helped me view the world in a different context. Not necessarily a better context. Just a different one.

For me, the idea of bringing back hundreds of skilled professional and trade workers will provide benefits much greater than just the economic activity.

The challenge is this. Is Ambir an isolated case? If there are more stories we should publish them and celebrate them. Imagine if we were able to broadcast to all the expatriates about all the good things going on in New Brunswick and how many people are moving back. That would surely tug at the heart strings of at least a few Minto or Tracadie born folks.

But we need to actually have ‘good things going’ before this will happen.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

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0 Responses to Repatriating to actual jobs

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d be more impressed if employers in NB acted like employers elsewhere. Employers are offering numerous concessions and working with government in order to get the ‘unemployable’ into the workforce. That are starting at the grassroots level to train people to STAY. There are workers in NB, why does Ambir want to be in Fredericton, there’s no reason for that. Go build up the north, that’s the whole point of ED, if its not that, then New Brunswick can’t very well complain about being mistreated by the feds. If ED doesn’t start at the bottom up, then its virtually pointless.

  2. Cooker Boy says:

    They are a private business so they can setup wherever they deem most advantageous or just plain prefer!

    Secondly, the industry demand is not for unexperienced workers who are forced to work in a industry they dislike, the demand is for experienced employees that will help companies grow so they can hire students down the line.

    Experience is crucial to new startups, and I beleive is what Ambir is trying to do with their recruitment campaign.

  3. scott says:

    But we need to actually have ‘good things going’ before this will happen.

    And until that happens, most ppl who return will have this song ringing in their head as I did on my flight back to New Brunswick after losing the ‘lengendary bet”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That’s the point of this site, that government has a role to play. If Ambir wants to hire more people, then the government comes in and says ‘what will it take to get you to set up in Campbellton’. You think people won’t go to a job in Campbellton? You think there are no people in Campbellton who would ‘like’ a secure decent paying job? Hogwash. Not all the positions are for experienced personnel and of course thats often the biggest hurdle. My wife works for a research company, they have a hell of time finding people, usually having to take chinese. However, they are so overworked that they never can get organized enough to take my suggestion: go to an upper level undergrad course and ask for volunteers for summer experience. A program that gets students into these positions will lead to jobs down the line. But corporations are notoriously short sighted, which is why government needs to play an active role. Otherwise, you build up Fredericton and what happens elsewhere? If the argument is simply ‘they do what they want’ then its pointless to have a blog about how to add ED. In fact, politically and economically it might be the right move. You can take a few experienced people up north and add a government program to get young people involved. We’re not talking about quantum mechanics here.

  5. Cooker boy says:

    If you were to go fishing, whould you:

    a) Use a worm as your bait?


    b) Use a fishing net?

    Answer: you use a net… There’s easier access to major US markets from Freddy, an existing base of knowledge industry professionals, an airport and two universities.

    Ambir needs to think about sustainable profibality, not economic development in Northern NB. Once they are a 200 Million/year organization then they can start to think about relocating positions to the north.

  6. to it and at it says:

    I expect there are more .NET and Java developers to hire in Freddy than Campbelton.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Again, reread what I said, that is why government plays a role. To be fair, fredericton’s airport is pretty shitty anyway. However, there is more than economics at work, unless this guy is getting tons of provincial work. So why Fredericton? There are more people doing those things in southern ontario, or even New York.

    My gut response may be wrong, but lots of companies that locate in Fredericton get tons of government work because they are there, that gives the province some clout on decisions. But if New Brunswickers won’t support building up the ass end of the province, you certainly can’t go around complaining about the feds doing the same thing. They are simply supporting the strongers representative clusters.

    The point is that that is what needs to change. The mention of Moneris in Shediac is one such example, such a company could have set up in Moncton or Fredericton. The province has a vested interest in building up the disenfranchised areas. Nobody is saying put a gun to the guy’s head, but as said, most companies get some kind of perks. For the above post, no doubt there are more java developers in Fredericton, in fact a good many may be from Campbellton and would like to go home, but there is little there now to entice them-sound familiar?

  8. Blackjack says:

    I find it ironic that it is being suggested that government should be on hand to advise against short sightedness in corporations. It is shortsighted for any corporation, company or individual enterprise to set up shop with the hope of competing for government work as the government cycle between elections tends to militate any long term success rate if the governing party changes. Political parties are notoriously parochial in their attitude to government supporters or affiliates and our governments in NB are as parochial and short sighted as any.
    It is laudable that companies such as this one in question are bringing expats home but is it at the expense of local labor who are working for smaller remuneration and cant get the bigger bucks legitimately? It is also proper for the government to suggest locating in less prosperous regions as this spreads the wealth.
    We should base our outward migration initiatives on the one used in other countries such as Ireland. I read an article that the migration trends have reversed to such a point that they recently advertised a job fair in New York and the larger proportion of uptake was from citizens of the US. Ireland has gone from nearly 20% unemployment to full employment to a deficit position in under 10 years. They didnt start touting for migrants to return home until they had their house in order. We should use this example in NB. Theres no point in encouraging expats home if there is nothing for them to do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, and as for the ‘low unemployment’, that may be true but look at the jobs. I’m trying to remmber, but I recall a company announcing that they were hiring and recieving thousands of resume’s from people who wanted BETTER jobs. Any issue comes up and the newspapers are full of stories from graduates saying ‘I just can’t afford to live here’ because of loan payments and low pay. Canada has always been a miser when it comes to pay scales, and the maritimes the worst. Anybody thinks there is a shortage of workers should just count how many people graduate high school and university each year.