SYDNEY: A group of clever business owners in Whycocomagh have inspired a clever group of business people in Sydney to take on the challenge of bringing folks to Cape Breton Island.
“The Farmer’s Daughter had a tremendous amount of social media success, as a result of something they did to attract workers about a year-and-a-half ago,” said Carla Arsenault, the CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership.
“We know they received a tremendous response from people all over the world, and we thought there might be a real tangible opportunity for us to reach out to some of these people who are interested in coming to Cape Breton Island.
“They had a lot of people interested in the jobs at Farmer’s Daughter, but they also had a lot of people interested about coming to Cape Breton in general.”
The management at Farmer’s Daughter launched an initiative where, in addition to a salary, new hires were given two acres of land for free. The stipulation was the new employees had to work at the Whycocomagh-based store for five years.
Hundreds of thousands of people applied from all over the world.
With so many people showing interest in moving to Cape Breton, Arsenault said it seems only natural to follow up with some of them to see if they still have an interest in making Cape Breton home.
Arsenault said a number of people who contacted Farmer’s Daughter might have skill sets that could fit in nicely with other jobs on the island. There is a need for skilled trades people, health care workers, and other professionals. With that, it’s possible folks from away might be interested in attending school at one of Cape Breton’s NSCC campuses or at Cape Breton University.
“These are individuals who’ve expressed interest in Cape Breton Island, and we want to make sure that we reach out to them and welcome them to our island,” Arsenault said. “We want to see if there’s anything we can do to assist in helping answer any inquiries they have.
“If they are interested in studying here, we can put them in touch with post secondary institutions. If they want to immigrate here, we can put them in contact with the appropriate contacts to insure they have all the information they need in regard to immigration.
“We think this is a great opportunity to connect with some of these individuals.”
Arsenault said the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing the funding, and the project is expected to run most of the winter with an end date next spring, she added.