January 2017                                      Volume 2: Issue 1
Valley REN Voice
We believe that in working together
we will find greater opportunities to create a more prosperous region.
Unlocking Opportunities

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season.
Last year, the Valley REN hosted and co-hosted several events to facilitate connections, conversations and collaboration among our region’s businesses. Through our activities, we reached out to more than 200 local businesses and service providers, resulting in more than 60 referrals to business support agencies. Earlier in 2016, we partnered with the Valley Business Leaders’ Initiative to launch a television and digital media campaign to raise awareness of the Valley region as an inspiring place to
live, work and grow.” Our campaign continues to spark action, with more than 700,000 impressions in just five months. This has prompted more than 200 expressions of curiosity and interest. Then in December, we hosted our first sector table workshop (more on that below).
In 2017, we will continue to unlock opportunities to help our local businesses thrive. Our staff will engage one-on-one with entrepreneurs through our BusinessNow program and we will collaborate with businesses, organizations and government on our sector development activities. Please contact our team to see how we can help you.

Join us later this month for a workshop on “Building a Cross-Culturally Competent Workplace.” Read our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and visit for up-to-date information.
We hope you enjoy reading our January newsletter and we invite your feedback. Please share your ideas for how we can work together to 
create a prosperous region.
Kelly R.M. Ells, CEO
Berwick creates first “Smart Town Hall”
Smart move! Congratulations to the Town of Berwick and its business partners as they create the first “Smart Town Hall” in Nova Scotia.

The new Berwick Town Hall will use ultra-high-speed networking and digital solutions to create a community hub with widespread benefits.

“Our public service, business and community members will be served by advanced digital network technologies that enhance civic work, innovation, research and outreach,” said Berwick Mayor Don Clarke. “These technologies will yield numerous operational savings and make the building easier to manage and maintain.”

Developing our strategic economic sectors
At our sector table workshop on Dec. 7, business, industry and government representatives from across the Valley came together to share their insights on our five key sectors: agriculture, information and communications technologies (ICT), manufacturing, sustainable energy, and tourism. You can read the highlights here.
If you do business in one or more of these sectors, and you didn’t attend the workshop, we invite you to take our online survey.
Take our survey
Survey results on Internet service
In the last issue of Valley REN Voice, we asked: Are you satisfied with your Internet service? Not surprisingly, the overwhelming response was “no.” We also received a strong indication that provision of Wi-Fi service is a factor when travellers choose accommodation. One person wrote: “When choosing accommodations or travelling, I need reliable, fast Wi-Fi to be able to conduct work.” This response indicates that accommodation businesses need access to fast Wi-Fi to deliver this service to their customers. The Valley REN is hopeful that provincial and federal investments in broadband will help local businesses become more productive and competitive in all sectors.

Thanks for sharing your views.

Building a Cross-Culturally Competent Workplace

Lots of practical tips at this FREE interactive workshop
19 January 2017, 1:00PM – 4:00PM 
Kings County building: 87 Cornwallis Street, Kentville

Immigrants entering the workforce are a source of labour market growth. They bring many benefits – think innovation, determination and connections – to potential partners, suppliers and customers. Retaining talented immigrant employees delivers a competitive advantage and is a key factor in becoming an employer of choice.
The Workplace Culture Program organized by the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia helps employers by:
● improving their ability to retain immigrant employees
● raising awareness of the benefits of cross-cultural talents and experience
● identifying ways to improve the cross-cultural experience

Paul Pickering has been assisting employers and individuals with issues of immigration, cultural competence, diversity and inclusion since 1995. He is the coordinator of workplace culture at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia in Halifax (ISANS). 
Please register here: seats are limited
What is the Valley REN?
Who we are:
The Valley REN was incorporated in March 2014 under the Municipal Government Act. We have a mandate to be the catalyst for economic development in the Valley region. Our partners in the Valley REN are the Glooscap First Nation, the municipalities of the County of Kings and the District of West Hants, and the Towns of Berwick, Kentville, Middleton, Windsor and Wolfville. We are jointly funded by our regional partners and the Province of Nova Scotia. Our volunteer Board of Directors, drawn mostly from the private sector, delivers a wealth of experience in business and economic leadership. A Liaison and Oversight committee – representing regional partners and the province – ensures public accountability.

Our mission:
To guide and navigate regional economic development, while providing support to businesses; operating as a connector among economic development partners; supporting business growth and retention; and providing leadership on economic priorities.

Our vision:
“Communities working together to create a prosperous region.”
Our guiding values:
Community  |  Integrity  |  Respect  |  Excellence  |  Trust
How can the Valley REN help you?
We make connections for businesses and potential investors, while supporting the development of key economic sectors in the Annapolis Valley region. 

Making business-to-business connections

Our BusinessNow suite of services provides one-on-one support to the local business community. We provide information, make referrals, and can connect you with local businesses in the supply chain. As we gain insight into the regional business climate, we are bringing the collective concerns of businesses to our municipal and provincial partners.
How can the Valley REN help your business?

For information or to set up a meeting
please contact James Schofield,
Economic Development Officer.
Ph: 1 (902) 698-9192 |

Developing priority economic sectors in the Valley

On behalf of our regional partners and the province, the Valley REN is investing its efforts in developing five key sectors: agriculture, information and communications technologies (ICT), manufacturing, sustainable energy, and tourism. We do this by bringing businesses together to spark ideas and pursue innovative ways to build on our assets in the Valley region.
For more information, please contact
Emily Konrath, Economic Development Officer
Ph: 1 (902) 670-0542
Catch up on our past newsletters
December issue of Valley REN Voice 
November issue of Valley REN Voice 
October issue of Valley REN Voice 
Questions? Suggestions? Send us a message.
Or visit to learn more.
Copyright © 2017 Valley Regional Enterprise Network
35 Webster St., Suite 102 | Kentville, Nova Scotia B4N 1H4 | 1 (902) 670-2287 |

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Valley Regional Enterprise Network · 35 Webster St. · Suite 102 · Kentville, NS B4N 1H4 · Canada

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