Crystal Zaharchuk from the Terrace and District Community Services Society is organizing a regional conference aimed at bringing together people and groups focused on skills employment.

Crystal Zaharchuk from the Terrace and District Community Services Society is organizing a regional conference aimed at bringing together people and groups focused on skills employment.

Making connections goal of skills gathering

A conference to bring agencies that train people for work closer to the industries that hire them is happening this month in Terrace

A CONFERENCE to bring agencies that train or prepare people for work closer to the industries that could then hire them is happening this month.

The idea is to close a gap that now exists between the two groups, says Crystal Zaharchuk of the Terrace and District Community Services Society which is organizing the Oct. 24 one-day event.

There’s a particularly crucial need to build connections as many of the industries eyeing the northwest because of its liquefied natural gas potential are unfamiliar with the area, she said.

“What we’re really seeing is a strong disconnect between service providers who can really help people and industry people,” she said.

“What we really need to do is come together as a regional community to create these relationships.”

“We, service providers, can do a better job if we understand what the industry challenges are, for example,” said Zaharchuk. “Industry may not know what we can do.”

She acknowledged that some companies may not be ready to hire and cannot do so until the shape and extent of economic development is more known.

But Zaharchuk said efforts undertaken now to prepare for hiring will pay off.

“The economy is changing and we need to change with it,” she said. “The more we know, the better we can serve.”

Zaharchuk also said agencies here deal with all kinds of people ranging from those who have worked in one industry for years but who now may find themselves out of work because of changing certifications and standards, to people who have specific employment challenges to people who need someone to plot out a program of training and progress.

“These are not normally those involved in mainstream employment searching,” she said.

Invitations have gone out to a number of employment training and counselling service providers throughout the region.

Zaharchuk said responses are starting to come in.

Career consultant and author Gray Poehnell will lead a workshop over the course of the event.