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Local social network site for the trades continues to expand

"It kind of started in North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, and now we are in every country in the world outside of the Antarctic and North Korea'
The Hard Hat Hunter head office, is based at Canadore College in North Bay. The website may be looking to add 10 more staff in 2019. Photo submitted.

Logan Jones never figured once she finished taking marketing and advertising at Canadore College that she would find an opportunity that would allow her trades experience in cemetery maintenance to help out with her job as a digital content coordinator.

That has been exactly what happened for her when she joined the Hard Hat Hunter team.

“I was lucky enough to find an opportunity here and incorporate my grave digging trade into my marketing/advertising and combine those two worlds,” said Jones.

“I think that is why Hard Hat Hunter shines because it kind of connects those two worlds that usually don’t connect.”

Hard Hat Hunter, which has its head office based at Canadore College in North Bay, officially launched in 2015.

Paul Robillard, who developed the concept, says what started small has now eclipsed 4.1 million connections worldwide.

“It kind of started in North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, and now we are in every country in the world outside of the Antarctic and North Korea,” he said.

“It has evolved from 15,000 to 20,000 new connections a day. We used to get about one a minute, now we are getting 18 to 20 a minute, 24 hours a day.”

Robillard believes the unique social network does things for trades people that networks like LinkedIn and Facebook can’t do for the industry.   

He is also expecting to make a number of major announcement and in conjunction with that, hopes to hire as many as 10 new people in the new year.  Robillard says the partnership with Canadore College has been key since they have been able to work together with some of the courses such as the new Diesel Mechanics.

“What we are doing is we are working together with Canadore College to develop courses, the Diesel Mechanic is the biggest problem around the world and Canadore is now offering a Diesel Mechanic Course,” explained Robillard.

“It is getting the right courses to train people which we are a part of that in our daily work with Canadore.”

While the site continues to grow, Robillard says their priority is to stay in the North.

“We have a Toronto office now but our intention is to always be headquartered here in North Bay. We have no illusions about running off to California, this is how we have become successful and it works for us,” said Robillard.

“This is a construction hub, so everything will start from here.”

Robillard says their site is even looking to add an online learning component which would include English as a second language training. 

"We need a lot of people migrating to North America, great skills but the barrier may be the language so we are trying to create some things to make it easier for them to transition into Canada and these things are already in place," he said. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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