Business leaders in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, are using the mournful tones of "Hinterland Who's Who" to call attention to another sort of endangered species: young Cape Bretoners.
The group has created a video (external - login to view) spoofing the famous public service vignettes, in the hopes of encouraging residents who have gone west looking for jobs to come back.
As the familiar "Hinterland Who's Who" melody plays, a baritone voice tells the viewer: "Prospects are grim for the Cape Breton young professional."
Stephen Tobin, president of the Cape Breton branch of the Junior Chamber International, said the island's population is shrinking and local businesses need to help stop the high level of out migration.
"We're facing an aging population," he told CTV Atlantic. "In the next five to 10 years, that aging population will have high retirement rates coupled with out migration. That means we'll have significant problems if we don't address this soon."
The video is the brainchild of producer Stephen Tobin, and it's part of a project called Cape Breton Works. It's designed to show the youth that, if they choose to stay on the island, jobs are available.
Officials with the project say the local shipping and energy industries are hiring by the thousands.
"We've finished a master port plan," said James Wooder, CEO of Laurentian Energy. "It identifies the size of the prize and it's absolutely enormous. We're talking 5,000 to 8,000 jobs here over the next 10 to 20 years. And those jobs are in multiple sectors."
The health industry is also hanging out a "help wanted" sign. Hospital officials say 43 per cent of medical workers will be eligible to retire in just eight years.
Surprisingly, the hospitals are finding potential employees from an unlikely source: oil-rich Alberta.
"In Alberta, we spoke with a number of Cape Bretoners that want to come home and we are recruiting them back," said John Malcolm, CEO of Cape Breton Regional Hospital. "We're also seeing Albertans that want to work in Cape Breton. We're speaking to students in Alberta to come here and work."
The Cape Breton Works project includes surveying the island's youth who have moved away, and asking them why they chose to leave Cape Breton. The results of those surveys are expected in March.
capebretonworks.com/ (external - login to view)
So what do you think of the video, or the concept of it?