Virtual job fair aims to help unemployed residents


An annual job fair hosted by Rocky View and Wheatland Employment Services (RVWES) will take place virtually in hopes of helping unemployed people find work in a time of uncertainty.

An annual job fair hosted by Rocky View and Wheatland Employment Services (RVWES) will take place virtually in hopes of helping unemployed people find work in a time of uncertainty.

“With Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) ending Sept. 26, a lot of people are going to be looking for jobs,” said Abigail Gonzales-Kube, program manager with Prospect Human Services (PHS), which oversees RVWES.

Gonzales-Kube – who has overseen the job fair for the last five years – said even though the event couldn’t take place in person this year because of COVID-19, RVWES still wanted to offer an opportunity for people to connect with potential employers. She said she believes people who participate will still be able to interact and hopefully find work or employees as people try to get back on track from the pandemic.

“This is a service that ensures you are not just another number who is sending in a resumé online,” Gonzales-Kube said. “People get to ask questions, meet people and have that interaction.”

The virtual job fair will take place via Zoom Sept. 23. People seeking work can register for the job fair the day of the event and simply have to have their resumé ready before virtually conferencing with potential employers. Once registered and joined into the event conference, PHS employees will help guide and direct participants to ensure they can engage with employers.

While the job fair is marketed primarily to Airdrie, Gonzales-Kube said it is also open to people outside the city.

Fifteen employers had signed up as of Sept. 15 and received training on how to facilitate interviews during the fair, she added

“Not 100 per cent of employers hiring are familiar with Zoom,” Gonzales-Kube said. “That way they are ready and feeling comfortable knowing how to chat with participants.”

According to Gonzales-Kube, employers that will be attending the virtual job fair include Rocky View Foundation, Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, Academy of Learning Career College, Rocky View Schools, TC Energy and others.

During the pandemic, Gonzales-Kube said, many people started or continued their job searches even while receiving CERB benefits.

“What we are seeing is people who got laid off are actively looking to transition to a different industry, or if they were working part-time, are looking to get back to full-time,” she said.

Meanwhile, although many employers put a freeze on hiring during the height of the pandemic, Gonzales-Kube said hiring is increasing as time goes on.

“Employers are bringing staff that was laid off back to their old jobs, but there is still that need to hire for different positions,” she said.

Additional information and registration for the job fair is available at rwemploymentservices.com

Jordan Stricker, AirdrieToday.com

Follow me on Twitter @Jay_Strickz





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