Career Expo ready to open doors to public

The expo, the first of its kind on the North Island, will be held Friday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Port Hardy Civic Centre.

PORT HARDY—The businesses, entrepreneurs, trainers and educators are in place. All that’s needed for a successful Career Expo 2012 is for the public to walk in the door.

The expo, the first of its kind on the North Island, will be held Friday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Port Hardy Civic Centre. A presentation of the Mount Waddington Coordinated Workforce Initiative, it is jointly hosted by Community Futures of Mount Waddington, North Island Employment, the Port Hardy and District and Port McNeill and District Chambers of Commerce, North Island College and the North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society.

Career Expo 2012 is free to the public. It is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.

“We’ve got plenty of exhibitors,” said Penni Adams, project manager for the Coordinated Workforce Inititative. “What’s important now is community engagement. This is an opportunity to talk to people about what is out there and how to go about getting it.”

Adams spoke earlier this week from the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance-sponsored Economic Summit in Nanaimo, where she staffed the Regional District of Mount Waddington booth. Adams said she has been hearing positive comments about both the Coordinated Workforce Initiative and the upcoming Career Expo during the summit, and may even recruit additional presenters from the summit to take part in the expo.

As it stands this week, Adams said, visitors can expect to see as many as 42 exhibitors, spanning employers, employment service providers, training and education institutions, industry associations and government and community organizations.

Some of the features include presentations from the B.C. Construction Association and Geoscience BC, which will discuss careers in mining and mineral exploration.

The Career Expo differs from a traditional job fair in its scope and its range of exhibitors. It will draw the usual complement of students who are currently or who soon will be seeking jobs, but is also ideally suited for people re-entering the workforce, those changing careers and those seeking job- and career-training information.

“There’s a really good representation across all areas of the workforce, from people involved in workforce development to training and education,” said Adams. “Everyone is welcome to come and explore job and career options and speak with businesses, education and training providers and employment services.”

The event kicks off one night earlier, with a welcome reception Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Port McNeill Community Hall. Doors open at 6:30 for the event, which will allow participants to mingle and enjoy refreshments. A keynote address will be provided by Jon Lok, managing partner of Strategic Forest Management.