Expanding job fair opens doors in Maskwacis

Potential employers from across the province gathered in the Maskwacis Howard Buffalo Memorial Centre on Thursday Oct. 16 in hopes of wooing

A total of 672 people attended the fourth bi-annual Maskwacis Job Fair to explore their options with the 41 vendors in attendance

A total of 672 people attended the fourth bi-annual Maskwacis Job Fair to explore their options with the 41 vendors in attendance

Potential employers from across the province gathered in the Maskwacis Howard Buffalo Memorial Centre on Thursday Oct. 16 in hopes of wooing the attendants at the Maskwacis fall Job Fair and educating them on their options.

In its fourth year, the bi-annual event welcomed 41 exhibitors ranging from military, RCMP and governmental to a wide range of private companies. “There’s all different kinds of employment opportunities,” said Lana Johnson, Maskwacis Employment Centre manager.

“You look around and you see employers from all over the province. It shows you they have an invested interest in hiring from the four nations,” she added.

Each year the number of registered vendors expands, especially over the last three fairs. “People are coming out and making those employment connections,” said Johnson.

Along with the many vendors, the fair also caters to job seekers of all ages and needs, from first-time employees to those looking for a career change. “(It is) the full gambit, we have students who have come from the four nation schools,” said Johnson.

Several post-secondary institutions were on site to attract students and resources were available for individuals interested in self-employment.

Danielle Cardinal, Maskwacis Employment Centre employer liaison, experienced her first job fair on Oct. 16.

She saw the oil and gas industry was a large draw for the First Nations people because many opportunities are camp jobs and she says transportation is one of the biggest challenges people in the community face regarding employment.

Both Johnson and Cardinal noticed, with the number of vendors increasing, companies looking to hire are coming back year after year and spreading the word.

“It’s always great to work with the community to get the opportunities in our community,” said Cardinal.

“With prior feedback I’ve got . . . there is success stories I’ve got back from people who made those employment connections,” she added.

While the job fair is a spring and fall event, the Maskwacis Employment Centre works year-round to help people make those connections, including with smaller workshops. More information can be found at www.maskwacisemployment.ca.