Acrobat Research to Create Jobs in Cheticamp

May 9, 2006

The province announced today, May 9, that a market research company will create up to 115 new full-time jobs in Cheticamp over six years.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), the province and the Cheticamp Co-operative Council, announced a funding agreement in support of Acrobat Research Ltd.'s new contact centre.

"This is great news for the people of Cheticamp and Inverness County," said Premier Rodney MacDonald. "Acrobat's new Cheticamp site will use information technology as an equalizer to geography, and will create exciting new possibilities for the talented people in this community."

In a payroll rebate agreement with NSBI, the company is eligible to receive up to $850,000 over six years, if all hiring requirements are met. The Office of Economic Development also committed a $350,000 loan to assist with start-up infrastructure costs.

"Cheticamp offers a high-quality and bilingual workforce, making it the ideal location for our new site," said Roland Klassen, president of Acrobat Research Ltd. "The province's investment will allow us to continue our successful growth and to bring job opportunities to talented people living in rural Nova Scotia communities."

The operation is the result of a three-year, community-led effort, along with strong support from the company and its development partners.

The company and the Cheticamp Co-operative Council have worked closely to start the new operations as early as July 2006.

"A 36-month grassroots effort has resulted in a more promising future for the people of Cheticamp," said Economic Development Minister Kerry Morash. "The company, the community, and its partners are to be commended for an initiative that makes it possible for more people in this community to live and work at home."

In April 2003, NSBI and the Office of Economic Development provided similar support to Acrobat when it opened a contact centre in Canso. That centre has served as a successful example of how service centres can successfully operate in rural Nova Scotia.

Acrobat's Cheticamp site is expected to generate up to $13 million in total payroll over the first six years.

"This new site is a direct result of planning and business case development at the local level," said Angus Lefort, chair of the Cheticamp Co-operative Council. "After seeing the success Acrobat had brought to Canso, the people in our community worked hard to bring the same benefits to the Cheticamp area."

The new jobs will complement the existing seasonal employment in the Cheticamp area. Job growth in this community creates an opportunity for families to have a second income, increasing total family income for some residents.

"NSBI is pleased to have worked with the community, our partners, and the company over the past three years on this project," said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. "Technology and globalization have given us new options to help companies grow in communities throughout Nova Scotia, and to take better advantage of our talented workforce in smaller, rural locations."

Headquartered in Toronto, Acrobat was founded in 1994 to provide outsourced, outbound and inbound data collection services. The company has developed considerable expertise in operating and managing remote contact centres in a hub and spoke configuration.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia's private sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps companies in Nova Scotia meet their growth potential through business advisory, export development and financial services.

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