Valley REN board members and staff and Michelin employees enjoy the celebration of the 35th anniversary of Michelin Waterville in the Annapolis Valley.

Thirty-five years ago the first tire rolled off the production line at the Michelin tire plant in Waterville, a major employer in the Annapolis Valley. To mark the occasion, community and municipal partners held a dinner on June 7 to recognize the important contribution the company makes to the economic and social well-being of the Annapolis Valley.

Local businesses, municipalities and community associations gathered at the Old Orchard Inn in Greenwich on June 7 to celebrate 35 years of Michelin in Waterville.

The event was organized by Allan Shay (president of Shay Tire Ltd. in Berwick) with support and administrative assistance from the Town of Berwick and help from Michelin staff. Jeff MacLean, president of Michelin North America Canada Inc., also attended the dinner.

Guests filled 25 tables and the Valley REN was delighted to host two Michelin employees at our table: Courtney Rent, a recent engineering graduate from the University of New Brunswick, and Katie Lockhart, a graduate from Horton High School in Greenwich.

Over dinner we had the opportunity to speak with Courtney, who is a technician and Katie, who works in production. We heard about the work they do and the opportunities for career development in the company. Both spoke with enthusiasm about their jobs at Michelin.

They are great examples of young people who have found fulfilling careers in Nova Scotia.

After dinner, guest speaker Danny Graham, who is Chief Engagement Officer at Engage Nova Scotia, spoke about the history and traditions of Nova Scotia, which have shaped our quality of life. He went on to say that quality of life is the key to health and happiness (not fame and fortune).

He spoke of Michelin’s positive involvement in our local community. Michelin Waterville is a proud sponsor of many local charities and public services, including: Brigadoon Village, Special Olympics, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Valley Regional Hospital Foundation and Kings Point to Point Transit Society.

At the end of the evening, the organizers presented Michelin with a $5,000 cheque to support charities of their choice. Plant Manager Marcel Leclerc, who accepted the cheque, said the company would match the funds. The $10,000 will be used to support breakfast, reading and mobility programs in local elementary schools.