Employment seekers flock to Westerner for job fair

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
March 13, 2018 - 3:01pm Updated: March 13, 2018 - 4:48pm

Job seekers put their best smiles on Tuesday as they attended the annual Central Alberta Job Fair at Westerner Park.

 

Roughly 400 people showed up in the first half hour alone.

Aaron Sheppard, Director at Red Deer-based Career Assistance Network, which runs the job fair, says there’s a been a bit of a rally for hiring, but numbers have recently levelled out.

“It’s certainly not back to where it’s a gravy train with biscuit wheels,” he quips. “I think employers are optimistic, but they’re not going full bore.”

At $60 a barrel, Sheppard says oil prices are in a bit of a sweet spot right now.

“We have a big push with oil and gas. Oil and gas employers are trying to stock the cupboard with good employees,” he says. “During this time, there’s a lot of downtime and it’s an easy time to re-train people and get prepared for the push after.”

Sheppard estimates about each of the 50 booths will hire 5-10 people directly from this job fair.

“The ‘09 downturn was a really big kick in the gut for employers, it was very dramatic and mass layoffs were the only solution,” he says. “With the ‘14/’15 downturn, a lot of employers have tried to do small layoffs. It’s very hard to replace your staff once you've laid off a quarter or even a half of them.”

If you couldn’t make the fair, you can visit rdcan.ca or centralalbertajobfair.com. CAN and Red Deer College are also hosting a job fair on March 21.

Business as usual for Toys "R" Us in Red Deer

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