Councillors with the Municipality of the County of Pictou have been updated on the work of Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network.
Council heard a presentation from the new CEO of PCREN, Sarah MacIntosh Wiseman.
The new CEO began by introducing a bit about herself and how she came to be at the REN as well as the other staff that has been hired as well as the structure of the REN. MacIntosh Wiseman displayed a diagram of the structure of the REN which had a number of branches at the top representing all of the stakeholders for the network, including local towns. All of the branches from stakeholders connected next to the Liaison and Oversight Committee pictured below the stakeholders as the beginning of the tree trunk, under them the Board of Directors are the next point with the CEO and staff making up the bottom or base of the tree.
MacIntosh Wiseman shared that the idea for REN’s came from the Ivany Report and as a result, there are certain things from that report they are hoping to achieve in line with the needs of the region. The website One Nova Scotia Dashboard helps them keep track and lets the public see what goals they have to reach for in the work. Overall, local labour market shortages and the causes of not having enough people to fill the jobs that are available in the county are things the REN is looking into. This includes identifying barriers such as training and education that prevent the unemployed from taking jobs that are available.
Before October, MacIntosh Wiseman and her team are hoping to have REN’s strategic planning and the final budget completed; they are aiming to hold their first AGM in late October.
Coun. Don Butler, who represents District 1, asked what the biggest challenge is that the REN team is facing.
“Communication is what we have to do really well,” said MacIntosh Wiseman. The REN staff will be ready to receive suggestions on what they can do to achieve their goals as well.
Coun. Peter Boyles, who represents Dist. 9, asked if they will be looking at keeping people in the workforce. The CEO answered that they will be seeking to identify the problems keeping people from becoming employed in the jobs that are available, then create a long term plan for employers.