A Fredericton technology company is looking to add 145 new jobs to create and expand an Aboriginal software testing company.
Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization was set up by Keith McIntosh, the co-chief executive officer of Fredericton's Professional Quality Assurance, to meet the need for qualified software testers.
"Across Canada there is a significant shortage of skilled people in the IT industry that needs to be addressed," said McIntosh in a statement.
McIntosh said the impetus for setting up the company comes from a challenge he took on to inspire innovation in his community.
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The technology executive decided to create and fund the PQA Aboriginal Software Testing Initiative with the help of the Joint Economic Development Initiative. The JEDI program is a partnership between Aboriginal communities and the federal and provincial governments to create jobs.
That six-month program, McIntosh said in a statement, is intended to turn out qualified software testers.
"I decided that, by creating an ongoing training program to produce qualified software testers, I could then create an independent company especially designed to provide good employment opportunities with solid career paths in an energetic growth industry for First Nations communities," said McIntosh.
"The new company is also a great asset to the continued growth of PQA."
McIntosh's company has 10 workers. There will be as many as 87 new jobs created as more students finish the six-month training program.
As the new testing organization expands, the statement estimates as many as 58 new jobs will be created at PQA.
In total, the Fredericton companies are getting $982,000 in financial help in the form of payroll rebates from Opportunities New Brunswick to hire the new workers.
"These jobs that are being created are an example of how New Brunswickers are innovative and our technology sector is strong," Premier Brian Gallant said in a statement.
"It is inspiring to see that this initiative means more tech sector jobs for New Brunswick as well as more opportunity for education and training for First Nations."
This is the latest in a string of technology-related job announcements that the provincial government has been involved with in recent months.
When the Gallant government announced IBM Canada would hire 100 people in Fredericton, 110 in Saint John and 40 in Florenceville-Bristol, McIntosh said that would put pressure on companies that are already trying to find qualified employees in a tight labour market.