Many of the world’s most successful technology companies are taking advantage of New Brunswick’s nearshore value proposition. Our location is naturally strategic, enabling companies to work easily with all of North America in the same business day. Combine that advantage with our low cost of doing business and everything is here to make an expansion easy and profitable.

The latest world-class company to leverage that value proposition is Bell Canada. Already one of Canada’s largest employers, Bell is expanding its Canadian operations by establishing a new National Service Centre in Fredericton.

Today, it has been announced that with support from Opportunities NB (ONB) Bell Canada will create up to 150 new full-time New Brunswick-based positions within the next five years of operation.

ONB spoke to Wayne Walters, Director, Bell Business Markets, to learn more about this exciting news.

ONB: Why New Brunswick for this new centre?

Walters: Bell Canada has a number of large customers in this region that count on us to provide them with creative resource hubs. They look to us to support them not only today but where they will be tomorrow with their technology. As we considered the Atlantic Region, we recognized New Brunswick as an innovative technology hub. It’s also a hub that is growing in terms of its ability to provide great technology resources and solutions. When we layered on Bell’s existing real estate footprint, we realized those two factors were highly complementary.

This new Service Centre will allow us to further deploy resources to our customers in the Atlantic Region while also supporting overflow of technology needs of clients across the entire country. Given the fact that we are servicing customers coast to coast, access to bilingual talent was also a big factor.

We absolutely love the community spirit here. The work-life balance is great and we know that’s important for attracting and retaining good people. The overall cost of living is favourable in New Brunswick as well.

There is also a cybersecurity piece to this, correct?

Yes, our cybersecurity practice is growing and we expect to see it double in size over the next 12 months. Our relationship with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is crucial to that. Curriculum there is second to none, so we look forward to forging this new relationship, and investment with UNB. We expect to source a lot of great young talent from UNB to support our Service Centre in Fredericton.

I know our security practice leads have also had contact with your CyberNB team, which adds some additional strategic value for us. We expect that relationship to be important as we move forward with our cybersecurity practice.

What kind of work will be done at this new service centre and what types of positions can we expect to see created?

We have a core competency in the contact centre support space. New Brunswick obviously has a strong contact centre sector and Bell is the best at delivering back office support to clients in that space. Those two elements are highly complementary so we will see a variety of technology roles aimed at supporting our large clients.

For instance, we will see Technical and Business Analyst roles created to support those clients. We are also now seeing a large percentage of our Eastern Canadian customers working on technology transformations; rewriting applications to a common platform in order to be more efficient. As a result, we are seeing an increase in requests for developers, project managers, quality assurance people and testers, so that’s a competency we want to accelerate to support those customers.

Finally, can you comment a bit further on the relationship between Bell Canada and ONB?

As we continue to grow in a strategic location like New Brunswick, ONB is an essential partner helping us with every facet of that growth strategy. Your team helps us understand which resources exist here today and in what sectors. This has really assisted us in enhancing our core competency plans.

ONB’s Workforce Strategy team is also helping us with talent recruitment, which includes sourcing talent both locally and via immigration. That assistance has been a big positive for us. They have been with us every step of the way, guiding us through the entire process. Both of our teams are enthusiastic about immigration and repatriating New Brunswickers by bringing well-paid jobs to the province.

Cover image via Bell Canada

Written by Jason Boies