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Chamber’s job fair will be back next year



‘It’s like a job fair every day’ at the employment centre, but businesses don’t seem to know about it

A sharp rise in the number of job advertisements leading into this winter season has fast-tracked a decision from the Whistler Chamber of Commerce to reinstate its job fair next season.

To further assist local businesses and to help people find employment, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce has conducted fall job fairs in previous years. The chamber’s job fairs usually started soon after Whistler-Blackcomb holds its job fair for seasonal jobs on the mountains.

But the chamber had its federal funding cut last January and therefore it did not have the funds or resources to organize an employment fair this year. Since that setback the Whistler Chamber of Commerce has organized several partnerships, which include the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Community Services, to ensure there will be two separate job fairs next season.

More than 1,700 people have been hired in Whistler during the past two months and Brent Leigh, president of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, said the response to most job listings in the employment centre had been enormous.

"Between 120 to 180 people a day have been going through here and we know that they are genuine job seekers; they’re not hanging out having coffee," Leigh said.

"From the response, there seems to be a good awareness with the people looking for jobs, but for some reason I’m not sure the businesses are fully aware of what we’re doing."

While the Whistler Chamber of Commerce Employment Centre has many useful hints for workers seeking employment, the centre’s co-ordinator, Marta Sutherland, said it was also important for local businesses to realize how easy it was to use the facilities to find new staff.

"I’m trying to tell everyone to use this service because I’ve got hundreds of kids going through here every week looking for jobs or second jobs and it’s all online, and it’s free," Sutherland said.

"It’s like a job fair every day in here.

"But my wall’s half empty and I don’t know why I don’t have (job) notices pinned up everywhere."

Sutherland conceded the nature of how things work in Whistler tends to lend itself to a degree of confusion at this time of year.

"It’s crazy how the system works over here because it’s so seasonal," she said.

"For two months everything’s happening and everyone gets inundated from everywhere by resumes and phone calls and it can be hard for those businesses who don’t have housing or offer mountain passes."

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