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Prince George urges Edmontonians to 'move up' for better jobs, bigger homes | Northern BC Business

Prince George urges Edmontonians to ‘move up’ for better jobs, bigger homes

IPGBy Bill Mah, Edmonton Journal September 5, 2014 7:52 AM

EDMONTON – Go northwest, young Edmontonian.

Prince George launched a marketing campaign Thursday aimed at luring the residents of Edmonton and a handful of other Canadian centres to “move up” to the mid-sized city in north-central British Columbia.

Moving up refers both to geographic relocation and the opportunity to land a better-paying or higher-level job.

Advertisements touting Prince George will soon start showing up in public transit, post-secondary publications and on social media in Edmonton, Toronto, Windsor, Vancouver and Victoria.

A new website, www.MoveUpPrinceGeorge.ca, shows job postings, a list of amenities and video testimonials by new residents.

“We want to let Canadians who live in larger cities and are looking for a lifestyle change know that Prince George offers them great employment opportunities, all of the amenities of a larger urban centre and access to the beautiful B.C. outdoors,” said Heather Oland, CEO of Initiatives Prince George, the city’s economic development group.

The industrial centre of about 80,000 people, known as B.C.’s Northern Capital, aches for skilled newcomers, said Melissa Barcellos, an economic development officer with the agency.

“Our unemployment rate in Prince George hovers around five per cent, so essentially the city is functionally fully employed and anybody with a skill has a job,” Barcellos said.

“There’s a lot of poaching going on between different companies so we need to attract new people to grow the population and fill the jobs and to help our businesses grow.”

The resource hub, known for mining, forestry and energy, is also seeing growth in manufacturing, construction, education, health care and professional services such as engineering that is fuelled by provincial pipeline and liquefied natural gas projects, she said.

Prince George’s top 10 most-wanted list of workers includes: engineers, chartered accountants, university professors, specialty physicians, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, millwrights, truck drivers, power engineers, welders and instrumentation technicians.

The campaign targets cities like Edmonton because they were identified in a consultant’s study that looked at migration patterns and labour pools that match Prince’s George’s skill needs.

In the future, the campaign will roll out in five other cities: Calgary, Montreal, London, Abbotsford and Kamloops.

In exchange, the city offers shorter commute times, higher incomes and lower cost of living.

“One of our biggest selling features is affordability,” Barcellos said. “To buy a house, the average price is under $270,000 and that’s for a nice five-bedroom house in a nice area.”

The campaign also pitches natural and recreational attractions such as 1,600 lakes and rivers within a two-hour drive and four uncrowded ski hills.

Barcellos offered no apologies about Prince George poaching residents from other municipalities.

“In Canada, right now, it’s happening across the country,” she said. “Anyone with a low unemployment rate has to get workers from somewhere else.”



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Posted by on 2:42 pm. Filed under BC Economy, Economic Development, Employment, Featured, Fishing Industry, Forest Industry, Health Care, Liquified Natural Gas, Mining, North Central, Oil & Gas, Press Releases, Prince George, Retail, Tourism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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