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.