After cottaging in Dorset her whole life, Kate Trueland made it her mission to find stable employment in the community so she could make it her permanent home.
It took some time, decades even, but she relocated to the area full-time in April 2022. Now, she’s looking to open doors for others through the launch of Dorset’s first-ever job fair. Taking place April 22 at Trading Bay Dining Company in the village’s downtown, she says the event is an opportunity to bring would-be workers face-to-face with potential employers.
“I have been looking for work in Dorset for many, many years and have found it really difficult to use the existing platforms. Because Dorset is not a central hub, it’s hard to pinpoint on places like Indeed,” she said.
“I thought to myself ‘if I’m having these problems, I’m sure many others are too,’ so I decided to do something about it.”
She started with the launch of a new website, the Dorset Job Board, in February. That helped connect her with several local employers, including Trading Bay’s Jenny Balfour. The two spoke often about the difficulties on both ends of the spectrum – people looking to work not being able to find jobs, and employers who struggle to recruit and retain staff.
Trueland has spent time living and working across North America, mostly in Bermuda and the GTA. She spent 10 years working in hospitality and tourism management programs at George Brown and Centennial colleges in the city. There, one of her main responsibilities was assisting with the organization and execution of an annual career fair.
So far there are eight local employers registered – Community Living Huntsville, Community Living South Muskoka, John Bacher Construction, Moorelands Camp, Mountain Trout House Marina, Northern D’Lites, Trading Bay Dining Company, and Zachary’s Restaurant. Trueland hopes more will sign up in the coming weeks.
She said there are a mix of full-time and part-time opportunities available.
“We have places looking for nurses, PSWs, DSWs. There’s construction work available – that’s the point I want to make, it’s not just seasonal work. There are well-paying jobs available that will allow people to work here 12 months of the year,” she said.
Trueland will be offering free resume and cover letter prep for attendees, while many employers will be conducting on-the-spot interviews.
“The community really needs something like this – it’s been a tough go in Dorset for the past 12 months. We’ve seen all the issues with Robinson’s, the health hub is suffering, the future of the pavilion park is up in the air… if nothing else, I feel this job fair is a chance for everyone to come together,” Trueland said. “That’s going to be one of my main focuses moving forward – recreating that sense of community.”
She is in the process of establishing a new Dorset Business Improvement Area, which she hopes to officially launch later this year.
The job fair is taking place April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided. For more information, on Trueland’s endeavours visit dorsetjobboard.com