Hundreds attend career fair in Colwood

Lots of opportunities for job-seekers to connect with companies

Hundreds of people came out to the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair in Colwood today (Oct. 26) hoping for a fresh start.

The career fair, organized by Black Press — publisher of your local community newspaper — features 60 booths from a wide range of companies and organizations from a variety of industries.

Exhibitors range from public sector employers such as B.C. Corrections, ICBC, B.C. Ferries, the University of Victoria and the Canadian Armed Forces, to private companies including Thrifty Foods, Country Grocer, Elements Casino in View Royal, Black Press and others.

There were also a number of workshops throughout the day, including resume writing, cover letter creation, job search essentials, and interviewing skills beginning.

Smiling employers greeted hundreds of people seeking a new start, as people weaved through the booths throughout the day.

“The day has been very fruitful. We’ve had some great candidates come in interested in three of our stores: the Esquimalt location, Royal Oak location and a couple at the Cobble Hill location as well,” said Beth Harris, human resource manager for the South Island stores with Country Grocer.

“We’re always looking for good people to join the team. We’re focused on being local so we really wanted to meet people and see who’s out there and who would be a great fit for our team … It’s been a great experience.”

Harjinder Conway, a recruiter with Catalyst Paper, said a number of people showed interest in the company.

“We’re hoping to get local people applying and they’ll have long-term, stable employment with us,” Conway said.

The event was also beneficial for those seeking work, ranging from as a young as 18 to retirees, including students and people looking to make a career change.

“There’s lot of people to talk to and gives you the criteria they need and if it matches your resume then it’s good,” said Rock Boisvenu, a semi-retired West Shore resident who was looking for part-time work in retail. “I really like the displays and the way everything is laid out. It has a comfortable atmosphere.”

RELATED: Career Fair in Colwood connects all sides of job market

Eighteen-year-old Sam Ogden heard about the career fair from his grandmother. While he currently works in retail, Ogden was on the hunt for other opportunities.

“There’s so many options, from the corrections centre, cleaning, to Alpine, it’s been a good time. I’ve enjoyed myself and there’s a lot of information that I’ve learned,” he said.

The career fair runs from until 4 p.m. at The Q Centre (1767 Old Island Hwy.)

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