Halifax, NS. Dec.15, 2015…. The New Brunswick Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) and the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO) from Membertou, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on economic development initiatives of mutual interest. These economic development initiatives focus on building partnerships with large industry in the region. In doing so, both MEBO and JEDI seek to identify both employment and business opportunities for local Aboriginals. They then work to train and support both individuals and Aboriginal Businesses to be part of these opportunities.

Both organizations were in Halifax Tuesday for an aboriginal Business conference at Mount Saint Vincent University. They took this opportunity to formally signthis agreement and discuss next steps.

“We are pleased to sign this important agreement with MEBO,” said Alex Dedam, President of the Joint Economic Development Initiative. “Our organizations have had a long relationship of working together for the betterment of Aboriginal people in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This Memorandum of Understanding will allow us to build on our great relationship.”

“Over the last couple of years, we have been collaborating more and more on major projectslike the Irving Shipbuilding contract,” said Alex Paul, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office. “ We have seen the benefits of this collaboration and want to build upon this success of working together and sharing information,” said Paul.

JEDI and MEBO share an interest in the identifying economic opportunities, development and delivery of economic development programs, training and supporting Aboriginal clients. This agreement constitutes the intent of both organizations to further develop relationships in support of these goals.

Both parties will collaborate and partner on communications and promotion of Aboriginal economic development initiatives and opportunities. They will also share data on Aboriginal businesses and individuals seeking careers who have engaged MEBO or JEDI. Perhaps most importantly, both organizations will work together at establishing a client referral process with appropriate tracking and credit acknowledgment. MEBO and JEDI also agree to report once a year on results from this MOU.

ABOUT MEBO:

The Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO) is focused on building partnerships with large industry in Nova Scotia. In doing so, it seeks to identify both employment and business opportunities for local Aboriginals. The Benefits Office helps industry find the workers they need through promotion and recruitment efforts. MEBO works to train and support both individuals and Aboriginal businesses to be part of these opportunities. To date, MEBO has trained more than 1,000 individuals and helped create more than 500 jobs for local Aboriginals.

MEBO is a not-for-profit organization serving all five First Nation communities in Cape Breton (Unama’ki) and takes a collaborative and business approach to employment and business opportunities with large industry in the region. MEBO also delivers a province wide training program under the federal governments Skills Partnership Fund.

MEBO has considerable experience in helping industry engage Aboriginals- through promotion, recruitment and training. Companies include Emera NL, Irving Shipbuilding, Cherubini Metal Works, Flynn Canada, ABB, Abengoa, PowerTel and others.

ABOUT JEDI:

The Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) has offices in Fredericton, New Brunswick. JEDI works with partners to foster Aboriginal economic development in New Brunswick. This not-for-profit organization provides a series of programs and services focused on business startup, business growth, community economic development and workforce development.

JEDI serves all 15 First Nation communities in New Brunswick as well as Aboriginal people living outside their communities. The organization has a variety of funders and partners such as the Government of Canada, the Government of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Business Council, the MAWIW Tribal Council, the Saint John River Valley Tribal Council, the Northshore Micmac District Council, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, the New Brunswick Aerospace and Defense Association, the New Brunswick Building Trades Council and many members of industry in Canada.

To date, JEDI has helped hundreds of Aboriginal people find careers in information and communications technology, natural resources, energy and defense. JEDI has also helped foster new businesses such in retail, hospitality, tourism, information and communications technology as well as clean technology.