News Release

REF NO.: 170

SUBJECT: If you build it, will they come? -- Forum takes a look at labour shortages in Labrador West

DATE: May 2, 2007

The iron ore mines of Labrador West have generated prosperity for the region – and for the province – for several decades. As the demand for consumer goods and industrial machinery world-wide is not slowing down, the future of Labrador West has the potential to be positive.
“A major problem is looming on the horizon, as the baby boomers retire from their jobs at the mines, employers are beginning to encounter difficulties in replacing them,” said Linda Dumaresque, economic development officer, Hyron Regional Economic Development Corporation. “This mirrors the situation facing single-industry towns across the country, who are finding it more and more difficult to attract younger workers. It is also similar to the situation facing rural Newfoundland and Labrador, where younger people are moving away, to Alberta and elsewhere.”
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development presents the public forum, Where Will the Workers Come From? Avoiding a Labour Shortage in Labrador West on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Arts & Culture Centre, Labrador City.
The forum will address questions like: How Bad is the situation?; What does it mean for Labrador West?; Will the region face a slow decline because of the lack of workers?; Or can the region come up with innovative ways to attract and retain younger workers?; What can governments, industry, educational institutions, parents, youth and others do to ensure that Labrador West continues to flourish?
            Dr. Doug May, an economist with Memorial University of Newfoundland, will outline the demographic situation facing Newfoundland and Labrador. He will be accompanied by three panelists:
           Dr. Keith Storey, head of the Geography Department at Memorial University
           Heather Bruce-Veitch, manager of Human Resources at the    Iron Ore Company of Canada
           Wince Martin, manager of Human Resources for the Wabush Mines Group
            The public is invited to attend and participate in a dialogue and a question and answer period. Reception to follow.
Media agencies are encouraged to send representatives.
The Harris Centre
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development (The Harris Centre) was approved by the Memorial University Board of Regents on September 8, 2004, and announced October 1, 2004. It is named in honour of Memorial University scholar and former president, Dr. Leslie Harris. Dr. Harris exemplifies the contribution of Memorial University to regional policy and development in Newfoundland and Labrador.
            The Harris Centre is tasked with coordinating and facilitating the university’s educational, research and outreach activities in the areas of regional policy and development. It works with all faculties and departments within the University and serves as a reliable point of access for all stakeholders seeking to work with the University in activities related to regional policy and development.

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