The “Spring into your career” hiring fair, held last Tuesday at the Copper River Inn here, is being deemed a success.
“Overall, I was happy with how everything turned out,” said Sarah Marusyk, marketing co-ordinator at NCDS, which hosted the 3-7 p.m. event in partnership with the Rainy River Future Development Corp. (RRFDC) and the Northwest Training and Adjustment Board.
“The employers seemed impressed and we had a lot of serious job-seekers,” she noted.
Marusyk stressed this was more of a hiring fair than a career fair.
For instance, there were actual opportunities for employment and on-the-spot interviews by those attending.
Marusyk said it's important to hold events like these because a lot of people don't realize they need help finding a job.
“It is nice for people to meet with employers and give them your résumé in person,” she reasoned.
There were 22 district employers at the hiring fair, ranging from Boston Pizza and Gold Star Taxi Services to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Sheila Helm, with Shine Photography, also was on hand to provide head shots for those seeking a professional-looking photograph.
Marusyk said these photographs can be used for people's Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to seem more professional.
She also made sure the NCDS job board was on-site so employers who weren't present still could advertise their vacant positions.
Marusyk wanted to ensure all of the opportunities in the district were showcased.
Tannis Drysdale, a local economic development consultant, said the idea for the fair came after realizing the labour market shortage in Rainy River District.
Every year the RRFDC working with the Council and the Economic Advisory Committee do an evaluation of what the community needs to stimulate economic development.
“We have have a 3 to 4 year plan that we work through. We have a team of industry specific consultants and those with specific technical skills that we work with,” said Drysdale.
She noticed there is a deficit of employees in small- and medium-sized businesses locally.
“We heard of the increasing need from the community, from industry partners and from our Economic Development Advisory Group,” she added.
“It was an anticipated outcome of the mine construction and other forces impacting development in Fort Frances, and larger forces influencing employment trends in Ontario and Canada.”
The hiring fair was the their combined effort to help facilitate economic development.
“We then took a number of steps working with NCDS, the hiring fair being one, to address the understood need from the business community,” she concluded.
Marusyk and Drysdale are unsure if another fair of its kind will be held in the future.
Marusyk noted employers always are hiring at different times so it often is difficult to capture them all at once.