The Alberta Works Centre located on the 1st Floor in the MaAdil Building, 5201-51 Avenue Wetaskiwin held an Open House on May 1, 2014 to introduce the public to the diversity of programs they have available.
Lisa Bortnak, Program Delivery Manger, Human Services, explained they are well known for helping unemployed people who are looking for jobs, but they also offer other programs and services. “Yes, the Alberta Works program helps unemployed Albertans find and keep jobs, but another important service, that is sometimes overlooked, is we help employers meet their need for skilled workers.”
Melissa Maschke, employee recruiter for a contracting company, Netook Construction from Olds, Alberta was present at the Open House and explained how they are pleased with the help they are getting from Alberta Works. "We are currently hiring employees to work on road construction projects throughout the County of Wetaskiwin starting near the end of May, first part of June. Today I attended a mini job fair hosted by Directions for Wellness, a contractor with Human Services. We are looking to hire a variety of employees from flag persons to equipment operators. We are grateful to have the assistance we received from the Wetaskiwin agencies. Needless to say, finding experienced, trained and properly certified workers remains a challenge to our hiring needs." Employers such as Netook take part in the free job fairs hosted by Alberta Works throughout the province.
Netook Construction Ltd., like most contractors, will be actively competing for a limited group of operators for their fleet of late model dozers, excavators, graders, motor scrapers, articulated rock trucks, skid steers, heavy haul trucks, and gravel trucks.
As stated in the Labour Market Bulletin – Alberta: March 2014, employment increased in Alberta by 82,300 over last year, accounting for 87% of national employment growth. New employment opportunities continue to be created in Alberta, which stems from the province’s robust energy sector. For the first time in several months, employment increased faster than the labour force which led to unemployment retreating slightly to 102,000 in February.
Employment gains of 21,200 were made in the mining, oil and gas industry, accounting for nearly half of the growth in the goods-producing sector. Also in this sector, construction employment grew by 25,300 or 11.1% from last year. This year, construction employment will be buoyed by several large projects in Calgary, Edmonton, and the oil patch in northern Alberta.
More about Alberta Works Centres
There are 53 Alberta Works Centres located across the province, including the communities of Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Red Deer. Each is a one-stop career and employment centre staffed by professional Career and Employment Consultants. Students can research careers, post-secondary training, and find part-time and summer jobs to help them pay for school. Job seekers can attend resumé and job-interview workshops, use the computers, fax machines and photocopiers free-of-charge for their job searches and to connect with local employers who are hiring.
Bortnak stated that the Alberta Works Centre can also be very useful to recently retired people or to those seeking part time work. The Centre has information for those who want to start their own business or for recently retired people who want to re-enter the workforce doing something entirely different or finding part time employment.
As stated in the Labour Market Bulletin, “Residents in the 55 and over age group (47.4%) are much more engaged in the Alberta labour force than this same age group throughout Canada (37.5%). The higher rate of participation of this group is partly due to a tight labour supply, but also the attractive wages offered by Alberta businesses, which entice older workers to remain in the workforce.”
Other diverse services
For those who are having difficulty meeting their basic needs, Alberta Works offers help with Income Support, Child Support Services, and short-term job training. Career and Employment Consultants can also help Albertans connect with other helpful government programs like rent subsidies and health benefits and local community services. Starting a new job and need safety clothing you cannot afford – Alberta Works can help.