Youth retention and attraction is a very important aspect of the future sustainability and economic growth in our region. Cumberland RDA is seeking new opportunities for our youth through training programs and increasing the skills inventory in our area. We want our youth to prosper in their own community without having to leave to another county or province.
Youth Retention & Attraction Project
Cumberland County, like most other parts of the province and Canada, is seeing a number of demographic and economic challenges which have the potential to lead to labour force shortages, a slower demand for goods and services, and increasing fiscal pressures. These issues know no boundary. And so, Cumberland RDA is working on a number of projects to curtail these issues.
Cumberland RDA commissioned a Strategy and Action Plan for the County, facilitated by Mount Allison University’s Rural and Small Town Programme. The primary purpose was to prepare a repopulation strategy and action plan for implementation in Cumberland County. Two main elements for this project were identified: youth retention, attraction, and repatriation of those under 30; and attracting immigrants to the area as well as fostering immigration throughout the County by helping to build an awareness of population trends and the need for immigrants. With this information and understanding of issues facing Cumberland County, Cumberland RDA is moving forward with specific goals.
The primary purpose of the Youth Retention & Attraction Project is to use the Repopulation Strategy to implement an action plan for Cumberland County. Particular emphasis will be placed on three elements:
- Youth retention
- Youth attraction
- Repatriation of those under 30
To support the strategy and plan there is a need to develop different programs and projects that will assist in achieving the goals identified. Some projects being researched include:
- Implementing a youth database to analyse and use for different aspects of the project.
- Developing a Steering Committee to generate ideas and input. This will also provide a voice from regions of Cumberland County to represent issues of youth retention and attraction. The Steering Committee will have representatives on it which represent the different sectors of the region including respectively: Health, School, Community College, Cumberland RDA, youth, businesses etc.
- Student Appreciation Project. This is designed with students home for the summer vacation in mind. These students will eventually be seeking opportunities in the labour market. We want to help them realize the opportunities in Cumberland County before they graduate which will lead to a relationship between the individuals and their hometown. This will also show them that there are support services available to them when they are ready to job hunt.
- Make contact with employers of Cumberland County to develop a working relationship with the employers and organizations of this area to better understand what they are looking for from potential employees, and use this to make connections to the youth of the area.
- Youth Town Council. This pays service to youth in a way that gets them involved and gives a voice to the youth of the area. This will help us interpret the issues youth recognize and work with them to addresses these issues.
Cumberland Regional Development Authority
Phone: (902) 667-3638 Fax: (902) 667-2270