NEW GLASGOW - The 300 jobs being lost at Convergys aren’t going to be replaced easily and along with the 500 cuts announced earlier this year by Michelin could have a tremendous impact on the economy of Pictou County, says Chamber of Commerce executive director Jack Kyte.
“When a rural community loses this many jobs, it’s a very significant impact,” he said.
First and foremost, he said, hearts go out to the people who will be losing those jobs.
“It’s very difficult to replace that many jobs quickly and to encourage large companies to come to Nova Scotia that has the capacity to hire that many people,” he said.
The spinoff is significant because those people losing their jobs will be forced to either move or reduce their spending until they find another job.
He believes part of the answer to the problem is to support the businesses that are here and help them succeed and grow.
“We have quite a significant exporting sector,” he said. “Those are the ones that are very keen on growing. It’s essential people take risks in business to grow. From a Chamber perspective we want to continue to work with them and help them to improve their prospects.”
It’s important for municipalities to work with the business sector to help them succeed, he said. He said the Chamber is already working with local municipalities on how infrastructure and other elements can help them prosper. He has found that they are receptive.
“They realize we’re all in this together and we have to figure out some ways we can offset some of those losses.”
New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan said these kinds of losses reverberate through the community but called for people to remain strong.
“We have strong entrepreneurial leadership, many vibrant businesses, substantial community resources and quality-of-life assets,” he stated. “We are committed to providing an environment that supports business through strong infrastructure and collaboration. We are working with the business community through our Business Advisory Committee and have identified high growth potential through the Pictou County Business Investment Strategy. We will also be working with all orders of government and their representatives as we move forward through regional vision and action.”
He said this is a community that is a good fit for business investment for many reasons, from the talent of its people to the many community assets.
“We must think and act regionally for Pictou County and collaboratively and united as a province,” he said.