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Workforce partnership to develop recruitment and training strategy for modernized Port Saint John


July 16, 2021
By Crane & Hoist Canada Staff

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The New Brunswick government is partnering with employers, labour representatives and others to maximize employment and economic development opportunities expected to result from the Port Saint John modernization project.

“The modernization project is expected to significantly increase the demand for workers in the Saint John region in the very near future,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We are excited to be active participants in this initiative that will bring key government, academic, community and private sector partners together to support workforce development and planning.”

Goals of partnership

The primary objectives of the workforce partnership are:

  • to develop and implement a recruitment and training strategy that supports and aligns with the needs of all potential employers associated with the Port of Saint John; and
  • to develop and refine a workforce partnership model that targets and accelerates strategic workforce recruitment.

The provincial government has committed up to $450,000 through WorkingNB for the creation and operation of the partnership.

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Canadian Pacific sees ‘exceptional growth opportunity’

“Canadian Pacific Railway is excited to be back in Atlantic Canada with an exceptional growth opportunity that will help to create jobs in New Brunswick,” said John Brooks, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Canadian Pacific Railway. “The workforce development committee will play an integral role in matching people with opportunity as Port Saint John continues to grow.”

The workforce partnership will begin its work immediately and will be chaired by Allen Bodechon.

Other members of the partnership include Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency, employers, union representatives and the Saint John Learning Exchange.

“The International Longshoreman’s Association Local 273 is looking forward to the role that it will play within the workforce partnership to meet the future labour demands in the longshoring industry due to the modernization project attracting new business,” said Terry Wilson, local president of the International Longshoreman’s Association.

“In conjunction with our labour partners, we are pleased to be a part of the progression of the Port of Saint John,” said Jen Brun, general manager and vice president of the Port of Saint John Employer’s Association.

“A skilled workforce plays a critical role in growing the port and in advancing our business model at DP World Saint John,” said Matthew Leech, chief executive officer and managing director for DP World Americas. “We are excited to be a part of this important workforce partnership and look forward to seeing how these highly trained workers help strengthen Port Saint John and the overall community.”

The Port Saint John modernization project is expected to be completed in 2023. It will expand cargo business and allow New Brunswick businesses to export and import more competitively.