By Lisa Gervais
Haliburton County students and members of the general public are being encouraged to polish their resumes in time for the Haliburton County Home Builders Association’s job fair April 20.
The event was last held in 2019, pre-COVID, but is returning to the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School gym next Wednesday morning.
Aggie Tose, executive officer at the HCHBA, said while the event will be similar to ones in the past, “this time, we’re really pushing for resumes. Before, our drive was careers. What careers are in the County? Right now, we want to push that there are hundreds of employers looking for people and we really need the resumes. We really need people that want to work.”
Tose said local grocery and hardware stores, among others, want people hired and trained before the Victoria Day long weekend, which is May 20-23 this year, so time is of the essence.
Already, she said they have had a number of businesses register, from hardware stores to an optician, to a roofing business and carpentry.
“So, it’s a really wide range of people that are looking. I’m hoping we have a lot of options for both the students and the public to come and have a look, and meet people and put a face to a name.”
Many people have commented that they are surprised that high school students are not seeking work as they have in the past.
Tose said she spoke with some high schoolers last spring and they told her it was because they had been working part-time jobs but had qualified for government COVID payments so opted to stay home instead.
She said in her 30 years working with GJ Burtch Construction, last year was the first summer the business did not get any resumes for summer work.
Tose acknowledged for those not able to live at home with their parents, the Highlands’ shortage of affordable housing is a major barrier.
She hopes the new student residence planned for Haliburton School of Art and Design may help with future summer housing for employees.
“It will be huge no matter which way we get it, or however they use it because there will be a list of people waiting to get in. Like that baseball movie, Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come, They will. We are so desperate for housing up here.”
Back to the job fair and Tose said, “I’m really hoping it will give the employers a chance to meet people face-to-face and hopefully have a useful conversation. But I really want to push that we would like people to come expecting to talk to an employer.”
Tose said sponsor Home Hardware has donated a prize that will go into a draw for people who bring resumes to the fair.
She added there is no charge for employers to register to attend.
To register as an employer, call 705-457-6901, or email firstname.lastname@example.org