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Kitimat, BC Job Fair Recap

This past weekend I attended a career fair in Kitimat, BC, organized by an employer who is shutting down their pulp mill in January 2010. Business closures are a difficult time for individual workers, families and whole communities when hundreds of jobs are being lost. However, it was soon apparent that workers emerging from this community were some of the most skilled and positive people we have talked to in years.
Heavy Duty Mechanics, Industrial Instrument Mechanics, Power Engineers, Maintenance Planners, Maintenance Supervisors and Industrial Engineers all turned out in large numbers. The most promising candidates were focused on a career and professional development path that included education and certification. We met Power Engineers working on their 2nd and 1st class papers as well as apprentices finishing their last year of schooling before writing their Red Seal exam.
Learning a trade or new skill is key to being highly employable throughout your career. No matter if you grew up in small town BC or downtown Edmonton, we all face job changes throughout our lifetime. By continually looking for skill-building and educational opportunities, we can be the people employers are looking for. Building your skill base will always translate into better opportunities, whether they be higher employability or the ability to start your own business.
Canadian workers have always been resilient; we build new entrepreneurial business in recessions and improve more established companies in times of surplus. Every worker I met last week had the drive to succeed, even if their mill closes. There will be struggles, but Canadian workers have the skills and knowledge to face difficult times and rebound.