Job fair links people with employers in Hay River

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Hay River hosted a job fair to link people with potential employers at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre.

Job seekers came to check out booths from 10 employers representing a diverse spread of opportunities in the community.

Nineteen-year-old Ben Tatti said he showed up to the job fair in the hopes of finding somewhere to make money before going off to school in the fall.

Nineteen-year-old Ben Tatti talks to the Health and Social Services Authority’s Glen McPhee about potential job prospects during a job fair held at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre on July 10. Cody Punter/NNSL photo

Tatti had already gone south for college in the past, but it cost him all his savings. He said this year he hopes to be better prepared.

Although he plans to study computer sciences, he said he was hoping to get a job as a baker for the summer.

“I just got the application for the Super A bakery so I’m hoping to go there,” he said.  “I’m completely used to it and my old boss works there and I’m hoping to go work for him again. Really it just looks like I can really do it.”

Some of the potential employers included Super A Foods, Aurora Ford Hay River and the Hay River Health and Social Service Authority.

Donna Lee Demarcke, general manager at Aurora Ford Hay River, said the company currently had two openings, one for an accounts receivable clerk and another for either a journeyman automotive technician or apprentice.

“Most of our parts, our welders, our technicians our painters they are all people that started out as apprentices or even after school labourers and then signed on as an apprentice they go through that process and get their ticket and hopefully stay with us forever,” she said. “Our history of putting young adults through that process is huge.”

Although there are only two official openings, Demarcke added that the company is always willing to help people find work, especially students who are young and enthusiastic. Even if it’s just a part-time job at first, Demarcke said there is always the chance to progress within the company.

“That’s how I started at the company many moons ago in Grade 12. I started as an after-school kid and now I run the company.”

Alyson Capulso, who just finished high school, said she was looking to find a job for at least a year. Her hope was to save up enough money to be able to apply for the nursing program at Aurora College in Yellowknife.

She is currently working part time at North Mart but wanted to get a full-time job to get more experience.

“I’m kind of nervous and scared because I’m not used to working the whole day but it’s exciting and really good too. Especially because as a nurse you need to be on your feet all day,” she said.

One of the employers most eager to hire people at the fair was the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.

While many of the positions they are looking to fill are specialized, such as doctors or nurses, the authority also has vacancies in its support positions, including administrative, housekeeping and kitchen roles.

“What we want to try and explain is that there’s positions at the hospital that aren’t only health care related,” said Glen McPhee, human resources officer with HRHSSA.

McPhee said that most of the jobs require a Grade 12, but exceptions can be made if an individual has lots of work experience in their field. He added that the hospital can provide workplace training though programs such as WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System).

“I’m hopeful that with a few of the resumes we got today we get people on some casual (shifts),” he said.

Tatti said he was surprised to see how many job opportunities there are in the community.

“If this wasn’t here, I’d probably still be looking,” he said. “Lots of people in Hay River say there’s no more jobs or you better keep the one you have there are so few, but they were wrong.”