Came for the opportunity, stayed for the people

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

Later this summer, Michelin will celebrate 45-years of tire building at our Granton and Bridgewater sites, which built the very first Michelin tires in North America for North American drivers. In the early ’70s, Michelin arrived to set up its manufacturing sites in Nova Scotia and we were made to feel instantly at home with the generosity of our new neighbours, who very soon became our friends.

Without a doubt, Michelin came here for the opportunity — and we stayed for the people. We now have more than 3,000 employees in Nova Scotia at our three manufacturing sites in Pictou County, the South Shore and the Annapolis Valley. Since those early days, Michelin has built more than 230 million tires, become a major contributor to the local economies, and our people have also become partners in the community.

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We have had some changes over the years, but our commitment to this wonderful province remains. In the last five years alone, Michelin has invested more than (CDN) $384 million in our Nova Scotia plants, preparing them for the future.  And, we continue to look for opportunities to grow.

In another example of Michelin’s long-term commitment to the province, later this year we’ll officially mark the second anniversary of Michelin Development’s arrival to Nova Scotia. Michelin Development — along with its partners East Coast Credit Union, Northern Opportunities for Business Limited and Guysborough CBDC — is a community program that provides up to $300,000 in low-interest loans for start-up or small businesses. Together, this partnership provides business expertise that fosters and encourages private-sector job creation among communities in Antigonish, Colchester, Guysborough and Pictou counties.
Since 2014, Michelin Development has awarded 44 small-business loans in Nova Scotia, comprising investments of more than $2.3 million and creating 109 real jobs, not to mention the potential growth of an additional 174 jobs. Michelin Development’s ultimate ambition is to establish 250 new jobs among small businesses in the area.

Nova Scotia is a great place to do business. Working with provincial government agencies like Nova Scotia Business Inc., we are committed to share the Michelin success story and help spread the good word about why Nova Scotia is a great place for investment.

In our off-hours, we also live and play here, and certainly recognize the importance of coming together to foster a strong community. As part of Michelin’s corporate sustainability charter, many employees volunteer in their hometowns to ensure we play a part in shaping our communities for the good.

Michelin employees set a record by donating over 1000 days of volunteer service in 2015 supporting their communities in activities like firefighting, coaching sports, judging science and robotics fairs, mentoring students with our Challenge Education programs, and at many Michelin-sponsored events such as Michelin Junior Bike. Michelin also has been a proud supporter of Special Olympics Nova Scotia for the last 28 years. Our employees will serve as volunteers for the upcoming Special Olympics Summer Games, featuring 900 athletes July 8–10 in Wolfville.

Michelin is investing sustainably in its plants, investing in people and investing in our communities to benefit Nova Scotia’s families in the years ahead.

Jeff MacLean, President, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc.