The Gibraltar Room was buzzing Wednesday afternoon as the Williams Lake Job Fair saw hundreds of students and job seekers making inquiries at more than 40 employer booths.
Co-ordinated by S.A.G.E. Trainers and sponsored by Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training and Employment (CCATEC), with funding from the provincial government, the two-day event will also be on Thursday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I’ve been going around the fair and talking to employers and some have told me they’ve hired people on the spot,” said Yvonne Funk, S.A.G.E. coordinator.
Rhonda LaBelle, executive director of CCATEC, said they do the job fair every second year.
“This is probably our seventh or eighth one,” LaBelle said. “We started off with a really small one years ago in the Elks Hall and it’s really evolved.”
While CCATEC’s mandate as a non-profit society is to train Aboriginal people to be successful in the job market, the fair is a regional event, and students are invited to attend from Quesnel and 100 Mile House as well as the Williams Lake area.
“We are targeting the employers who hire and I think that’s our success,” LaBelle said. “It’s really community-driven.”
Funk said the atmosphere is really exciting and fun, there is entertainment and great prizes.
West Fraser planning superintendent Mauro Calabrese was helping run the company’s booth and said they want people to know they are hiring workers at the plywood plant.
“We have about 350 people working at the plywood plant and with retirement and attrition and people leaving there is always turnover. We are almost constantly in a hiring process,” Calabrese said. “Plywood did take one week down of downtime, but is back working a full capacity.”