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Job fair builds on reconciliation

By April 4, 2022No Comments
Jarrod Bull, left, operations manager at Pimee Well Servicing based in Kehewin Alberta, and Eugene Badger, the chief operating officer, presented information to a job seeker at the Lloydminster and Region Job Fair at the Ex on March 24. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


The Lloydminster and Area Job Fair matched job seekers with employers while moving the yardsticks forward on Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) partnership goals.

The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce and the Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association held a joint job fair at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds on March 24. 

“There were two separate job fairs planned and when we found out, we merged job fairs,” explained Serena Sjodin, executive director of the chamber.

“Our goal was to have 30 employers and we have 55 booths, so we surpassed our goal.”

Eva John-Gladue, operations manager at Tribal Chiefs Employment based in Edmonton, was also all about taking a united approach to the task.

“There should be no reason why we should have two different job fairs when we’re here for the community members and the people that we serve,” she said.

“There will be a diverse number of nations coming from both Saskatchewan and Alberta.” 

The fair kicked off with a walk-in of Indigenous flags, delegates and powwow dancers.

The event included job seekers and employers from Beaver Lake, Frog Lake, Cold Lake, Heart Lake, Kehewin and Whitefish Lake First Nations along with Onion Lake and Saddle Lake First Nations.

“We’re bringing in the available workforce, we hope the employers here today are going to hire them,” said John-Gladue.

“If anyone’s looking for a job, today’s the day you can make your dream come true.”

John-Gladue noted TRC is really about building stronger relationships, with the job fair being an ideal opportunity.

“For those who don’t understand, we are here to educate. We’re here to provide the tools to our employers if they are unsure who to reach out to,” she said.

The job fair included a virtual event on March 24 to extend the reach of participation.

William Quincy, chief operating officer at Frog Lake First Nation, was hoping to get “appointments” for his First Nations people and to break down cultural barriers.

“We are all able to help each other move forward because that’s the way of the future,” said Quincy.

He also noted there are lots of employment opportunities at Frog Lake these days, with the potential to employ 200-300 in their green energy projects and partnerships with the federal government.

Quincy says the issue they’re having is not jobs, but a lack of understanding from those partners.

“Today, we’re trying to build that comfort level with everybody, making sure employee-employer relationships are strong and understanding those cultural barriers,” said Quincy.

“The future is partnership, true treaty intent.”

Braden Stolz, area manager for PTW Energy Services in Lloydminster, says they hire First Nation workers any time they can.

“It’s always good to get those guys in and broaden those opportunities,” said Stolz.

“We work with a lot of communities in the area from here to all the way up north —PTW is very broad in Western Canada, so that’s an important factor for us.”

PTW is an electrical instrumentation service company.

Stolz says they came looking to hire all positions around apprentices and experienced journeymen including combustion professionals, gas fitters, programmers and Scada professionals.

Pimee Well Servicing in Kehewin, owned by six First Nations, was headhunting for experienced service workers.

“We’re not being too picky at all, because of the lack of workers, we have some rigs sitting,” said operations manager Jarrod Bull.

Pimee employs 126 workers and 98 per cent are Indigenous from all walks of life from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“The job fair means an opportunity to hire some local talent,” said Bull.

He noted they were also hoping to hire some top-tier workers from Onion Lake.

The company got some rigs working for Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. on the Site Rehabilitation Program in Maskwacis.

“That’s a first for us,” said Bull.