Diversity key to county's growth: economist

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - While Halifax gets most of the attention, the economy of Cumberland County is healthy and growing, says an economist with Nova Scotia Business Inc.

"Cumberland County has one of the more diverse economies in Nova Scotia. You have 20 per cent involved in manufacturing and another eight per cent involved in primary industries. That is a very different look than the economy in general," Martin Walker said. "Nova Scotia is mostly a service-based economy, but in Cumberland County you are producing goods.

"From where I sit, it's places like Cumberland County that are one of the few pockets of wealth-generating capacity through its manufacturing and export base."

Walker, who spoke recently to the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, likes what he sees in Amherst and the continued development of the industrial park with companies that not only compete for markets provincially and nationally, but have gone global.

"One thing that the Amherst area has to be proud of is the strong manufacturing base," Walker said. "I always like looking at that sign outside Amherst that says Faith in People, Pride in Our Products. That, to me, says so much."

Walker said a number of firms have helped create an export engine for the province that helps prosperity and continues to create jobs. It's a situation that's only continuing to improve with continued stability at IMP Aerospace, growth at Poly Cello and construction of Maritime Pride Eggs.

There are many challenges ahead for Amherst and Cumberland County. The rise and fall of the unemployment rate and declining rural population are just a couple of factors that influence an area's prosperity.

"That kind of pressure is going to happen, but the Amherst area, from all indications, has a healthy economy. There's investment going on and from what I can see things are happening there," he said.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Business, Area Chamber of Commerce, IMP Aerospace

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia

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