2020 task force update

2020 task force update

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Kathleen MacEachern
Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Senior Policy & Research Analyst

I became the policy analyst for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce three years ago. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working as the staff liaison to the Chamber’s two task forces – Fostering Private Sector Growth and Accessing a Skilled Workforce.

Some might not know that our task forces work diligently to assist the Chamber in reaching the goals of our strategic plan. Both task forces are very happy to report that 2019 to 2020 has been a great year for meeting goals and creating partnerships and growth.

Our members have met with relevant stakeholders, heard from important guest speakers, helped to produce key economic documents and held roundtables with member businesses to increase the task force’s understanding of significant issues in the business community.

Accessing a Skilled Workforce

Last year, the Accessing a Skilled Workforce Task Force, chaired by NSCC President Don Bureaux, focused on Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). Some of you might have attended the Chamber’s 2019 Spring Dinner and learned more about the importance of hiring a student for the benefit of both the employee and employer.

You might have also seen our WIL video at our State of the Municipality luncheon that brought to life the ROI gained by an employer who hired a student.

We’re continuing our work on the importance of hiring students and have also begun expanding that focus to awareness of the “untapped” labour market (those who have been statistically underrepresented in the labour market). Keep an eye out for upcoming fall 2020 bulletins and updates.

We’ll showcase case studies and success stories of businesses that have realized the enormous value of hiring students and those in the ‘untapped’ labour market.

Don Bureaux will be handing over the title of task force chair to Michele Peveril. Michele is the Director, Corporate Governance & Audit with the Halifax Port Authority. Over the past four years that Don has been chair of the Accessing a Skilled Workforce task force, we have seen the group grow both in size and in ability to enhance our member's understanding of Nova Scotia's workforce. Through the efforts of Don and this task force we have created videos showcasing success stories, business voice pieces and a theme for our 2019 Spring Dinner. We will be sorry to see him go, but his constant endeavour to better our task force has left it in great shape for our new Chair.

Fostering Private Sector Growth

Hospice Halifax Board Chair, and Fostering Private Sector Growth Chair, Paul Bent, has been part of this evolving task force for nearly five years, with many others at the helm.

While the task force may have evolved over those years, Paul’s dedication to the business community has not wavered. Through his leadership, our task force members have met with important stakeholders, like the Nova Scotia Department of Business, HRM’s CAO, Jacques Dube and the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.

This task force has also provided our policy team with invaluable input for foundational documents, like our annual issue notes and pre-budget submissions, detailing our asks and recommendations for the municipal and provincial governments.

This is Paul Bent’s last year as Chair, and certainly we’ll miss his enthusiasm and voice for the business community. We’ll keep moving forward and continue to hear from Halifax’s key players to ensure the most up-to-date and relevant information is provided to our members, as we welcome Caroline Wolfe-Stewart – our new Task Force chair.

Caroline is the current Senior Director of Strategy and Operations with the Nova Scotia College of Nursing. As the principal leader of non-legislative operations, she focuses on leading cross-functional projects, enterprise wide strategy and business performance processes. We’re looking forward to working closely with Caroline during her time as Chair.

Over the past three years, I’ve seen our task forces grow and develop into today’s important groups. They provide awareness to key areas of concern and input on key issues the business community faces.

If you’d like to be part of one of these two key Chamber groups or would like to learn more, please reach out to me at kathleen@halifaxchamber.com or 902-481-1351.

I am always happy and proud to talk about our task-force goals and accomplishments. I can only imagine what 2020-2021 year will bring.

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