Midway through day one of the job fair, co-ordinator Yvonne Funk said it had been busy.
“We’ve had our lulls, and then another big group arrives,” Funk said Wednesday afternoon as she visited people hosting dozens of tables in the Gibraltar Room.
For two days, 34 different employers or education facilities had arrived to interact with students and members of the public interested in job and training opporunities.
Bus loads of students from schools in the district attended, to learn about opportunities — both educational and career-wise, Funk said.
“We sent invitations to everyone to come out.”
With a pen and paper in hand, Micheile Solomon asked TRU’s Nancy Giesbrecht some pointed questions about wages, training courses, and requirements for certain jobs.
Solomon and fellow student Tianna Billyboy-Sulin are enrolled in the Cariboo Training and Education Centre’s Sage program.
“We’re studying a hospitality course,” Billyboy-Sullin explained.
Raymond Stump from the Anaham Reserve shook hands with David Lindley, health actions co-ordinator with the First Nations Health Authority.
On Oct. 1, the First Nations Health Authority came into existence, and Lindley and Cody Caruso, health careers co-ordinator, were at the job fair to explain the new health authority and encourage young people to think of future careers in health.
Standing next to a large photo display Luke Doxtator, Tsilhqo’tin National Government’s stewardship manager, told Laura Billy there are often jobs at the TNG.
“Ninety-one per cent of the employees in our office are status First Nations,” he said.
A few tables down, Tolko’s sawmill supervisor Russ Brown said there’s been a steady stream of people and he’s received back several applications.
Beside him, Liane Skellett, administrative and human resources assistant, explained she’s worked with Tolko for a year and half now.
Derek Funk, Finning customer sales support employee stood next to a tall banner — “Unleash your potential. Join the Big Leagues.”
Like many of other tables, he was handing out cool pens and paper pads, along with information about future careers with his company.
Next to his table, West Fraser’s forester Janelle Hale, clad in a bright green t-shirt that matches the backdrop for her company, is handing out applications and paper discs with tree seedlings in them.
Williams Lake resident Anna Kalelest takes one of the seedling discs from Hale.
Karen Blain is a co-ordinating instructor with the NITEP-UBC, but said she works at TRU in Kamloops.
Her table is covered in a black and red native designed blanket her students made.
Pointing to the centre motif, she said it’s a house of learning based on the story of Raven.
“Raven stole the light and education is like a light,” Blain said.
Local resident Yvonne Duncan stopped to chat with Gary McDermott, Industry Training Authority’s director of Aboriginal Initiatives.
“We are the crown agency that oversees all apprenticeship programs in B.C.” McDermott said.