The future of Cumberland County is not only in attracting new people but also keeping those it has.
A new campaign, jointly launched by the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce and the Cumberland Business Connector, is aiming to do both – encourage new people to live in Cumberland County while urging those who already live here to appreciate what they have and stay.
“We have a tremendous skill shortage in Cumberland County and we’re trying to find skilled workers,” Chamber of Commerce executive director Ron Furlong said. “Join Us In Cumberland is our attempt to get the word out about what we have to offer here. Everyone is looking for people looking to resettle and we want people to understand the opportunities and lifestyles available in Cumberland County.”
Join Us in Cumberland was launched locally in mid-February and includes testimonials from people who have relocated to the county. Furlong said the program will eventually be shared nationally and internationally, adding one of the languages the campaign is being translated into is Ukrainian.
Furlong said it’s well known among those who live here or have visited frequently, that Cumberland County is an incredible place to live, work and play. He said the problem is it’s a secret to everyone else in the world.
“This is not just about finding people to work, but finding people with the skills that are required,” Furlong said.
One area of emphasis is in construction. Furlong said the housing shortage in Cumberland County is no different than in other areas of the province. The issue is attracting construction workers to the county as well as encouraging young people to get training in skilled trades.
Along with attracting people with certain skills to the area, Furlong added it’s also important to consider their spouses and find work for them as well.
Also, as the pandemic showed, people with jobs in places like Toronto showed they can work remotely and with the technology available they can live in places like Cumberland County and complete their work via the internet.
“If you’re thinking about where else you could be, keep us in mind,” Furlong said.
Patrick Manifold moved to Cumberland County after a professional basketball career and established a marketing company, Nova Scotia Media & Marketing. He said moving to Cumberland County was one of the best decisions he ever made.
“I fell in love with Cumberland County, Nova Scotia many years ago after spending many summers here between university and going overseas,” Manifold said. “After retiring from pro basketball in 2018, we were starting a family, so we needed to lay down roots somewhere and begin our new life. With multiple passports to my name, the countries we had to choose from seemed endless - but we chose Cumberland.“
After living all around the world, we chose to make Cumberland our home because it was safe, affordable, welcoming, friendly, full of opportunity and allowed our growing family to experience all four beautiful and exciting seasons. It is also full of incredibly kind people, who make living and doing business here a pleasure!“
The Municipality of Cumberland’s mayor Murray Scott supports the program because it’s important to the future of communities across the county and to the economy.
“We’re in a very competitive world and we need to step up our game and show how Cumberland County is a great place to live for many reasons,” the mayor said. “This province, like every other province, is trying to attract people. We need people to work here in many areas. It’s so important to our economy and our future and the message has to be loud and clear that Cumberland County is a great place to live.”
Among the positives to attract and retain people is the area’s central location in the Maritimes and the only land entrance to Nova Scotia from the rest of Canada, as well as beaches with some of the warmest waters north of the Carolina, a world-class ski hill in Wentworth, a five-star resort at Fox Harb’r, areas of natural beauty and numerous small businesses.
“There are people all over Canada and the world who are looking to make a fresh start or begin a new chapter in their life, and we believe that Cumberland is the perfect place to do so… they just don’t know it yet,” Furlong said. “And that is where we come in. We want to start appearing on their radar and make Cumberland an option for all of those people considering somewhere new. These people love the idea of joining a kind, safe, affordable, and welcoming community like ours, so it’s our duty to inform them about us.”
For more information, go to Join Us In Cumberland.