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Job Expo comes to West Coast

Over 20 local employers are expected to be on hand and looking to hire.
Shannon Szymczakowski

Nora O’Malley


Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner, which means a massive swell of summer job postings is headed for the West Coast pronto.

To ensure dibs on those summer jobs are awarded to local candidates, the Alberni Valley Employment Centre in partnership with the Nuu-chah-nulth Employment & Training Program (NETP) are hosting a job fair at the Best Western Tin Wis Conference Centre in Tofino on Wednesday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Our goal and objective here is to connect people with jobs and to build capacity for local employment. That is the goal, to strengthen the workforce locally,” said Alberni Valley Employment Centre community liaison Ursula Banke.

“If you’re looking for a job, this is the place for you to come. Dress for success and bring lots of resumes.”

Banke encourages job seekers to visit one of the Alberni Valley Employment Centres in Tofino (open Mon/Wed/Fri located across from The Shore) or Ucluelet (open Tues/Thu located on Bay St) for free photocopying services and professional help with constructing your resume.

“We are happy to help anyone that needs preparation,” she said.

In addition to providing a free buffet lunch and door prizes, the March 2 event is offering free shuttle service from several West Coast communities including: Tofino, Ucluelet, Hitacu, Esowista, and Ty-Histanis.

“NETP understands that one of the biggest barriers to employment is transportation. So in order for people to get to the job fair we are happily supporting rides through Tofino Bus to the job fair there and back,” said NETP case worker Evans Hauser.

Hauser views the job fair as an informal way to get to know employers on the West Coast and he encourages young job seekers to show up ready to talk to employers and dress as if they were going to have an interview that day.

Even if you might not feel qualified for a certain position on the day of the event, Hauser said NETP can help get you the training you need.

“If you’re a young First Nation, Métis or Inuit person living in Nuu-chah-nulth territory, NETP is here to support you in finding employment or building your skills,” he said. “We can help you get your drivers licence for free too.”

Several high profile West Coast players like Jamie’s Whaling Station, Creative Salmon, and Black Rock Oceanfront Resort plan to attend the job fair with the hopes of netting suitable employees for their 2016 summer roster.

For those wanting to link into a trade or continue a stream of education, STEP BC (BC Construction Association) will have a booth set-up, as will Vancouver Island University.

“The employers are going to be there because they’re hoping to get that fit,” said Banke. “One-on-one gets you quickly in the door. Bring your resume and have a one-on-one. If it’s not a good fit, fine. Move on to the next table.”

A free in-town shuttle will depart every 30 minutes from the Tofino Bus Terminal from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Free out of town shuttles will depart from Ucluelet’s Bus Terminal at 10 a.m. returning at 4:15 p.m. An Hitacu Community Centre shuttle will depart at 10:15 a.m. and return at 3:45 p.m. Shuttles will depart from Esowista (B Court) and Ty-Histanis       (M Boxes) at 10:45 a.m. with a 3:15 p.m. return time.