ContactNB is the not-for-profit industry association representing New Brunswick’s contact centre community. The organization was created in 1998 with a mission to drive continued excellence in the province’s contact centre sector.
Executive Director Cheryl Steadman says the group’s 25th anniversary will be celebrated as part of this year’s ContactNB Conference & Trade Show in Saint John from May 16-18 at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre.
“The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Connections’, and we are thrilled to be reconnecting with everyone in person for the first time since 2019,” says Steadman. “It’s about celebrating 25 years of connecting with member companies, partners, stakeholders, and the general public.”
A Vital Sector
Steadman says New Brunswick’s contact centre industry has grown steadily over the past decade and a half, and now employs approximately 15,000 in the province. “There has been a solid return on investment from our sector; it continues to pour about $1 billion a year into the province’s GDP,” she says. “Several industry members have been in New Brunswick from the beginning – names like TD Insurance, CIBC, Accor, Wyndham, Air Canada, Xerox, and more. These groups continue to grow here because they know our skilled and bilingual labour force can meet their talent needs.”
The industry has also matured over the past 25 years, evolving as technology makes the simplest customer requests easily handled by automated means. “You don’t have to speak to a human to find your account balance or last payment anymore,” says Steadman. “That means questions that do get directed to humans require more critical thinking, higher skill levels, and more training. As a result, career opportunities have grown too. It’s always been a good sector in which to start a career, I would argue it’s now even better.”
This Year’s Topics of Focus
This year’s ContactNB Conference includes speakers covering topics such as diversity, equity & inclusion, creating a frictionless organization, setting small goals towards big wins, keeping your team connected in the remote working world, and much more.
Of particular interest to Opportunities NB (ONB) and its clients, the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) will also discuss building connections with international newcomers in the classroom. The focus of this presentation from NBCC’s Amber Arsenault will be on helping our schools and employers become stronger supporters of newcomers to the province. (See the full conference schedule here.)
On top of serving as a conference sponsor, ONB workforce strategist Lynn Noble currently represents our team on the ContactNB board. ONB recognizes that the increased competition for skilled labour has made the potential to transition more international students into permanent residents even more critical. Our organization is thrilled to see the sector continuing to create new job opportunities for both local and newly arrived New Brunswickers.
The Celebration Continues All Year
Steadman notes that as part of the 25th-anniversary celebrations, her team assembled a committee of members and partners and asked how they wished to celebrate this milestone year. “Overwhelmingly, the response was ‘give back to the community’,” she says. “To that end, we are hosting a drive to help fight food insecurity in our communities. At the conference, we will be collecting items needed by six local Saint John organizations and making those donations to them immediately following the event. We’ll be doing something similar in the Fredericton region following our Awards of Excellence Gala in September where the silver anniversary theme will continue.”
She says industry members appreciate and respect the communities they have lived, worked, and played in for 25 years. “It was only fitting that they chose to make this the initiative that celebrates our quarter century. We look forward to the next 25 years in this great province.”
Learn more about the conference at https://contactnb.ca/conference/
It’s not too early to be part of the Awards of Excellence on September 28 at the Delta Hotel in Fredericton. Full details can be found at https://contactnb.ca/awards-of-excellence/.
For information about joining ContactNB as a contact centre Member or an industry-supporting Partner, please visit www.contactnb.ca/become-a-member/.