OHSWEKEN – Last Friday the Six Nations Community Hall became a meeting place for people looking for work and those with career and job openings.
The Grand River Employment and Training (GREAT) Job Fair attracted 43 employers with a wide array of opportunities for job hunters on Six Nations and surrounding areas to look into. Some of the businesses present were CHCH TV, Jukasa Radio, CKRZ Radio, law enforcement, correctional facilities, and more.
“It started at 11 [in the morning] and over 65 people come through many with resumes in hand,” says event co-ordinator Cathy Smith.
The flow of people was steady throughout the day as people wandered through the rows of employers, each looking for fresh faces to fill vacancies or expand their current staff.
“There is a wide diversity of ages and skills represent here,” Smith said. “It’s not just trades but services as well.”
Smith had a very detailed pamphlet printed that walked a visitor through the steps in making contact with various employers when they arrived at the job fair. Included was a step-by-step guide on how to make the best of a job interview, hints on how to make that all important first impression, note taking and following up.
There was even a resume workshop on site to help interested job hunters put their best foot forward when seeking employment.
Iris Right, explains that this job fair in particular was unlike others in that it was designed to bring employer ready job seekers and employment opportunities together.
GREAT’s mandate is to get job seekers ready to begin their job search in any one of several fields of endeavor, but Right explained why this fair was oriented differently.
“We wanted to take a step further,” she says. “It’s taken a long time but we are at a place in time where we have a large pool of people who are job ready, so we thought, why not bring them together in one place with a number of employers, hopefully to speed up the process of finding a job.”
One of the programs GREAT offers is for anyone living in Ontario, native or non, with some form of government funding is also eligible to enter any of the GREAT programs they offer.
The success of Friday’s fair shows Right that this kind of meeting place is something that will be done more often.
Among those receiving information of job readiness was Carmen Thomas who was there gathering information from potential employees to assess any further needs within the community that could help with the employment rate. The target age group for his survey was ages 16 to 30.
“I’m gathering information from Six Nations youth, employers and service providers to help improve programs and services delivered in the community,” says Thomas representing MPSI, Market Place Solutions Inc..