Recently Future St. Stephen has been focusing on two important aspects: jobs and housing. It is interesting to note that at the recent job fair there were over 300 job vacancies in Charlotte County and even more interestingly, that seems to be the pattern across New Brunswick and Canada. Businesses are being restricted in their ability to grow and meet customer demands by their inability to get employees. You might find that hard to believe but it is true and runs across most job descriptions: doctors, teachers, laborers, tradespeople, medical and pharmaceutical professionals, production line workers, tourism industry, strawberry pickers in N.S., etc. How can that be? There are several partial answers: declining population, aging population, lack of skills training, motivation to work, low wages in some areas, lack of knowledge about jobs available….. There are also several solutions and we will be working with others to try and help.
Another and related issue is accommodations. If you have tried to find an apartment in Town you know the supply is limited. That means someone who is interested in working here might be discouraged by not being able to find a suitable place to live. Not everyone wants the same thing so we need a variety of rent/buy options, at different price points and with different amenities. It is a significant challenge because it is not always economically viable to build new units and it is not always easy to get the money to finance it. We need to work with developers and contractors, employers, and governments to find solutions – and we will, but it takes time. In the short term we need something to hold people here until some of the longer term solutions start to kick in. Got an idea? Call me.
What’s new in Town:
Impact Wealth have recently opened in the Guy R Day office and are working with them to provide customers with an added range of services including life insurance, group benefits and investment products. Stop in to see them Tuesday, Thursday or Friday’s.
A new shop called Sand ‘n Sky Yarns and Designs has just opened in the St. Croix Courier building behind BMO. They sell beautiful yarns from Canada, UK & Ireland and are getting ready to conduct knitting lessons in the Fall. New folks in Town offering a great product line.
Support local businesses !