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The Valley Advantage

Education Advantage

The Valley REN region has significant educational assets, including Acadia University and two Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) campuses: the Kingstec Campus in Kentville and the Annapolis Valley Campus with two sites, in Middleton and Lawrencetown.

Acadia University is one of the oldest universities in Canada. For 25 consecutive years, Maclean’s has ranked Acadia as one of the top five undergraduate universities in Canada.

NSCC offers customized training solutions for large employers in the region, giving local firms a competitive advantage. The Middleton site of the Annapolis Valley Campus includes the Applied Research Group and Pilikan House, a living lab and demonstration site for energy efficiency and sustainable design. The Lawrencetown site of the Annapolis Valley Campus houses the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), which is Canada's largest geomatics-focused learning environment. High-quality programs in the fields of surveying, mapping, land-use planning and related computer programming have earned COGS its reputation as a world leader. In addition to its suite of diploma programs, COGS also offers advanced diplomas in marine geomatics, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and business geographics.

 

Transportation Advantage

The eastern half of the Valley REN region is about one hour from Halifax Stanfield International Airport and the Port of Halifax. Highway 101 connects the region to the capital (Halifax Regional Municipality, to the southeast) and to Digby and Yarmouth in the southwest.

 

The Annapolis Valley is also close to four other airports:

  • Digby/Annapolis Regional Airport (YDG)
  • Waterville Airport (in transition to new location at 14 Wing Greenwood)
  • South Shore Regional Airport (CYAU)
  • Yarmouth International Airport (YQI)

The Annapolis Valley is also close to three other ports:

  • Hantsport
  • Port of Yarmouth
  • Port of Digby

 

Workforce Advantage

A joint project with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education identified five key workforce advantages of the Valley REN area:

  1. A loyal and productive workforce (with experience in agriculture and manufacturing)
  2. Among the lowest employee turnover rates in North America
  3. An unmatched quality of life and low cost of living (low land cost and affordable real estate)
  4. One of the strongest provincial educational training systems in Canada
  5. Programs to help firms recruit and train their workforce

 

Provincial Time Zone Advantage

Nova Scotia is located halfway between the United Kingdom and California. Our Atlantic time zone gives us access to international markets in the U.S., and Europe on the same workday – a strategic business advantage.

Our Economy

Economic Sectors

The Valley region has a strong economic foundation in agricultural production and processing (supported by a cluster of research institutes) and in tourism, manufacturing, healthcare and education, social services, and a growing ICT sector.

The Valley REN is engaged in developing five core sectors

  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
  • Alternative/Green Energy

Sector Profiles

Please see our other sector profiles

Key Employers

Our two largest employers – Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. in the private sector and 14 Wing Greenwood (Royal Canadian Air Force) – each employ between 1,000 and 2,000 people, creating anchors for our stable, diversified economy. Other large employers are engaged in manufacturing, food processing, healthcare, education, social services, and nursing and seniors’ homes.

Strategic Assets

Bay of Fundy

  • Oceans resources
  • Tidal energy development
  • Technology and innovation
  • Tidal Research Institute at the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre LEARN MORE >

Telecommunications

  • Valley Community Fibre Network: a high-capacity fibre-optic backbone network that connects the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia with the provincial capital of Halifax. LEARN MORE >
  • i-Valley/Smart Annapolis Valley initiative LEARN MORE >
  • Telecommunications companies

Why Invest?

  • Diversified, loyal and productive workforce with expertise in agriculture, food processing, manufacturing, services and tourism
  • Strong education and training sector
  • Diverse and stable economy with a high quality of life in rural communities and urban centres
  • “Buy Local” momentum
  • Unique and underutilized assets in oceans sector (the Bay of Fundy), information and communications technology, and transportation

Community Profiles

“Communities working together to create a prosperous region”

Learn more about the communities that make up the Valley REN >