When I graduated from Rutland Senior Secondary in 2006, I, like all young adults, had to make decisions which would define the rest of my life. I barely knew myself, and yet had to think very seriously about my career contingent on my education. One thing dawned on me very quickly, if I was ever going to find answers, I couldn’t stay in the Okanagan. I had to go somewhere where ideas could flourish and jobs were abundant. Like so many others, I went to Calgary.
I loved the University of Calgary, but every chance I got, I came back home to the Okanagan. I loved it here, and the idea of raising a family anywhere else shook me to my very core. Although, the province was growing and Kelowna was starting to look very attractive to investors, it still could not offer the career prospects available elsewhere. I am a tech junkie, so I left my heart in the Okanagan and went back to Calgary to launch a very ambitions Wi-Fi network.
For four years I buried myself in work and thought about little else. Calgary became a different place, it was no longer booming in part because of price of oil, and in part because of the uncertain political climate the NDP brought to the province. Until, one day, I got a call from a recruiter, I was offered a dream job, and it was in the Okanagan!
I came back to a place which was even better than I remembered. The Valley is booming, new businesses move here everyday, small business and medium size business (which I work with) have a very positive outlook. They are excited about being in the valley, reporting record years, and projecting even more growth. This is an exciting time to be in B.C and truly we are the envy of the whole country.
Ironically, when I went back to Calgary, I found too many of my friends had lost their jobs, and those who still had a job felt they had no job security. Virtually all of them their salaries frozen and cussed the government.
In contrast, the government in BC is committed to responsible spending, delivering one surplus after another for over five years. Making the right investments in infrastructure and record investments in healthcare and education, all the while reducing the tax burden.
I have a yuppie life in Kelowna which I never thought was possible. Students who I talk to today are optimistic about their job outlook in the Okanagan, and more and more of my friends are coming back as they find the right opportunity right here at home. This really is paradise, and I for one, am never leaving.