Skilled trades job fair may head to Alberta

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Windsor Star/Grace Macaluso

The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation said Thursday up to 400 people showed up at a weekend job fair that featured 29 local employers seeking to fill more than 300 full-time jobs.

As well “a number of people” living outside of the region sent resumes directly to prospective employers, said Lana Drouillard, spokeswoman for the corporation.

Drouillard said it’s too early to determine the outcome of the skilled trades job fair. “The hiring process takes a while, but we have received positive feedback from some of the participating companies.”

Neb Mladenoski, engineering group leader at Anchor Danly Inc., said he was impressed with the turnout. “We ended up getting a lot of good resumes,” said Mladenoski, whose company is looking to hire an estimator and CNC machinist.

The tool and die and fabrications company currently employs about 165 people, many of whom were hired over the last 12 months. Anchor Danly has customers in the automotive, agriculture and mining sectors.

The job fair is part of an effort  to ease the shortage of skilled trades workers in the region. Local companies, which in the auto sector, are struggling to fill jobs needed to meet the uptick in business.

In a bid to drum up interest in the job fair, the corporation ran “cheeky” newspaper and radio advertisements in Windsor, Southern Ontario and Alberta.

As a result of the ads, Sandra Pupatello, president and CEO of the development corporation, did a number of interviews with media outlets in Edmonton and Calgary as well as Toronto, said Drouillard.

There are plans to take the job fair out West, primarily to Alberta, in the new year as well as the possibility of an online job fair, she added.

The campaign may get a lift from falling oil prices, she said. “If oil prices continue to go down it might be a little easier to attract talent to Windsor.”