City officials in Miramichi have confirmed new federal jobs will be coming to the city this year, when New Brunswick will become the home of a federal payroll centre.
Public service jobs are coming to a community that has seen its share of tough times with repeated mill closures and businesses moving out.
But as of this week, 146 jobs will be opening up — the first batch of jobs to come over the next three years — at a relocated federal payment centre.
"The establishment of a state of the art centre of excellence will commence immediately with a recruitment of 146 jobs in 2011, a further 190 jobs in 2012 and the balance of 207 positions in 2014," said Mayor Gerry Cormier.
Cormier said the centre will process payroll for 300,000 public servants in 110 government departments and he pointed out, there's not a lot of job requirements for those who want to apply.
"A Grade 12 education and with experience in computers, web — that type of thing — and it's a trainee program for about 18 months or 12 months, along that line," said Cormier.
Those trainees will be working in an already existing office space until the new centre is completed in 2016.
Jeff MacTavish, the economic development officer for the city, said the fulfillment of a promise by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to bring jobs to the city is a catalyst for change.
"It's a new start for Miramichi, as far as where we are going in the future," said MacTavish. "It plays in well with the branding exercise we did a few years ago and demonstrated that the city of Miramichi and the Miramichi region in general needs to diversify until the forestry industry can come around."
Cormier was optimistic about the city's future.
"The announcements of these jobs has lifted spirits," said Cormier. "I truly believe that this is going to be a good year the next few years for the Miramichi, I really do."