The spring edition of the biannual Maskwacis job fair was hit by unseasonal and heavy snowfall on Thursday, March 20, when the number of job seekers failed to reach the level achieved during the fall event of last October, but still counted a healthy 397, according to Maskwacis Employment Centre.
Lana Johnson, head of the centre said they were very encouraged by the numbers during the fall event, when both potential recruiters and job seekers from Maskwacis communities exceeded their expectations by a substantial margin.
“This is why we extended the hours for the spring event,” said Johnson, referring to the two-hour extension added to the daily activity schedule.
She said they were happy that more organizations willing to recruit among the Maskwacis communities were joining the list with each job fair.
While there was intense interest stemming from energy, pipeline and construction organization as in the previous events, there was also quite a number of service sector recruiters looking into possibilities of establishing connections with the First Nation communities.
Margery Knorr, Employment and Training Lead for Trans Mountain Expansion Project, said although they had almost two years to start the actual construction on pipeline expansion works, they had participated in the job fair for the first time in an effort to generate interest among the unemployed in the Maskwacis communities with the hope of starting to select candidates they could train and have them ready by the time the initiation of the project.
Representative of another first time participant, Michelle Parker of Clean Harbors, said they found the job fair a good opportunity to generate interest among the Maskwacis youth with a view to preparing some of the job seekers for potential recruitment in later stages.
Other organizations represented at the job fair included such private sector media giants as Telus and Global Edmonton alongside public sector institutions like Edmonton Police Service, RCMP, Alberta Health Services and Correctional Services of Canada.