Terrace, B.C. jobs fair helps locals looking for work

Companies, unions and training agencies offer chances for employment

TERRACE residents flooded into the Sportsplex March 20 to look at job opportunities from an array of an employers.

The BC Jobs Starts Here exhibit featured 23 employers and job-seeking aides, including iPads to search jobs and video kiosks playing mini documentaries.

“I would say around 70 per cent of the exhibiters are hiring for northern BC,” said job fair representative Stephanie Munez.

According to Munez the north is a hotspot for jobs right now, and people who visited exhibits in the south were thinking of heading up here.

Much of the push is to train and hire locally, though, and several of the represented companies specialize in helping people get the education and training they need to stay in the general Terrace area, said Munez.

This includes Kitimat Valley Institute, which has courses to help people earn high school equivalencies as well as offering safety training and resume writing, supported by companies in Kitimat and Employment Insurance Canada.

Leona Wells was at the fair representing Northwest Community College’s First Nations access support program.

“We go into the community and recruit and work with educational coordinators within the communities,” she said.

In a similar recruitment program, Robert Mills represented the British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association (BC AMTA), which provides training within aboriginal communities.

“The workforce is getting older and older in the region,” said Brian Leach of PNG, stressing the need for a trained workforce.

Echoing the spirit of local training was Hatha Callis of local Progressive Ventures Construction.

“We are looking forward to meeting local people with experience and skill who want to go through an apprenticeship-type program,” said Callis.

Lorne Fisher, the assistant business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said that his union has been active in the area since the early 1900s.

“The whole mandate is to hire local as much as possible,” Fisher said.

Most of the local hiring in the Terrace area has already been done, said Fisher, and the growing demand from industrial projects in the region will mean electricians will continue to come in from outside although locals will also have good prospects in the region.

On the other end of the spectrum were companies that offer Terrace residents positions elsewhere.

Chains like Save-On-Foods and Mr. Mike’s, and large companies like Investors Group were hiring both locally and for elsewhere around the province.