Many people were walking through the halls of the Cold Lake Energy Centre for the Chamber Connect job fair.Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The event ran from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and was free to attend, offering an opportunity for local job seekers and businesses to connect. 

“So right now, we know that there is a labour shortage in our region,” said Serina Parsons, executive director of the Bonnyville and District Chamber of Commerce. “Employers are definitely looking to hire, but… they want to hire the right people for the job as well. So, this is just about connecting employers to the community and to those potential job seekers so that they can come here and get an opportunity.” 

Lakeland Co-op was one of the many organizations conducting on-the-spot interviews, highlighting the immediacy and convenience of the fair.  

“It’s a really great time, come down with your resume and really see if you’re looking for a change, a career, or if you’re looking to establish your resume,” Parsons encouraged. 

The fair featured a wide range of booths, showcasing opportunities from various sectors.  

“We have companies, everything from the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, Browns Industrial, NES Firecroft, EmployAbilities, Stepping Stones Crisis Society, Travel Lakeland, Northern Lights School Division, to industry, to volunteer opportunities, to the fire authority, to security, and retail,” Parsons listed. “There is something for everyone, and it’s a really diverse job fair.” 

The event emphasized the importance of networking and creating connections within the community.  

“As Chambers of Commerce, we are truly about networking and making connections. The Bonnyville and District Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce, we communicate about what we need and what our region needs. And when we identify a regional need, we partner to come together to make that happen for our members and for the community as a whole,” Parsons explained. 

In addition to job opportunities, the fair provided resources to help attendees with job searches and resume development.  

“Most people that are here today are either here to hire or here as a job resource to help you find a job, so to help you develop your resume and all of those types of things. There’s a ton of resources here. We’ve got 26 booths, and there’s a wide diversity of types of booths here… Everything from industry to retail, and we’re just really happy to be able to create those connections and hopefully alleviate some of the pressure on the labour market so that these jobs can hire the right person for the right job,” Parsons said. 

The Chamber Connect Job Fair also aimed to address broader challenges in the labour market. 

“This is a bit two-fold, and it’s a little bit of a larger problem, in a sense that it’s hard for businesses to find the right person for the right job, and then there’s a lot of people out there seeking and looking for jobs. So, we just need to find that ability to connect.” 

Looking ahead, Parsons announced plans for another job fair, which will be held in Bonnyville. 

“We’ll be doing another one in Bonnyville at the C2 in October. And again, that will be a joint initiative with the Bonnyville and Cold Lake Chambers of Commerce.” 

Parsons concluded on a hopeful note, saying, “We hope that our employers get to hire to help them with their day-to-day, and then we hope that people that are looking for jobs get a job that they are excited about – that feels right for them – so that they can continue to grow and support their families and grow our region.” 

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 10, 2024 at 09:14

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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