North Bay city hall was buzzing with busy applicants looking to get their foot in the door with local employers as the impromptu job fair hosted by the city, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, Yes Employment, and the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB).
“The idea was to get employers and job seekers together,” Yes Employment Program Manager, Jordie Leggett said. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls from employers in town looking for people, even with our big spring job fair, so we needed one for right now.”
Nearly 200 hopeful applicants came into city hall by early afternoon to visit the 14 employers seeking applicants. Some event waiting in a line before 10 a.m.—the star of the fair—to get the quickest chance to meet face-to-face with potential employers.
“The goal today was to get people connected, so if there is a disconnect out there, then this is the way to fix that,” Leggett said. “There are obviously people out there looking for work, and people looking to hire, so if we can get them into the same room, then we’ve accomplished our goal.”
Joseph Bradbury, CAO of DNSSAB said it can be a real challenge for people within the community relying on social assistance to find employment and it’s events like this that help them get a foot in the door—as well as organizations get the word out there that they are looking for key employees.
“It’s really about finding the best candidate for the job in a labour market that’s what you want,” he said. “I think opportunities exist in the community and making sure people are prepared and have the tools.”
One such employer, Jacqueline Grube, Vice-President of Children’s Services at the YMCA said they were always looking for potential employees with specific qualifications.
“At the YMCA, we’re always looking for employees who are licensed home child care through early childhood education,” she said. “We have aquatics programs, education programs, and youth programs, and we’re always looking for fresh and new faces to join our family. It’s been a great day. It gives us an opportunity to connect with the community, and we’ve had the opportunity to share some of the programs we offer and support hiring locally. We’ve had about 60 different applicants come in, we’ve received many applicants come in and we look forward to seeing more.”
District Coordinator, Carol Porter said it was the face-to-face that really made events like this important.
“A lot of employers are meeting face to face so they can put a face to an application, there are a lot of interviews scheduled,” she said. “I was just talking with Value Village and they have interviews scheduled for the next few days. Others have interviews happening later today. I think a lot of employers are finding challenges in finding staff with the skill set they require, so on one side it is challenging because they’re trying to fill an immediate need.”
While this mini job fair was organized over the last couple of weeks, Leggett reminds that their annual spring job fair would still be taking place and he was looking forward to it, while also meeting the immediate needs of the community with smaller events like this.
Other employers at city hall seeking interested applicants were: the Lofthouse, from Burk’s Falls; U-Need-A-Cab; North Bay Community Living; the North Bay Regional Health Centre; Stock Transportation; Tim Hortons; the Canadian Armed Forces; Value Village; the YMCA Early Learning Child Care Service; Zedd; Paramed; and HGS.