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Third annual NLC and Saulteau First Nations Education and Career fair a success

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MOBERLY LAKE – Approximately 100 visitors, 16 companies, and 33 company representatives attended an education and career fair held at the Saulteau First Nation (SFN) on March 25.

The on-location event was open to the public, and hosted by Northern Lights College’s (NLC) Student Recruitment department for Aboriginal peoples interested in pursuing post-secondary training. Lunch was sponsored by NLC.

“Like previous years, this was a great opportunity for our members to connect with various companies and educational institutions working in the territory. The Education and Career Fair will give our membership a chance to make informed career decisions as prospective employees,” said Audrey Norris, SFN’s director of education.

A highlight of the event was provided courtesy of BC Hydro, who brought in a bucket truck and offered participants of all ages a chance to go up in the bucket.

Sixteen companies attended the event: AngloAmerican Peace River Operations, Bailey Helicopters Ltd., BC Hydro, Canadian Armed Forces, Canbriam Energy Inc., Clean Harbours, ClearStream Energy Services, Encana, Horizon North Camps and Catering, KMC Mining, North East Native Advancing Society (NENAS), Shell Canada, Teck Resources, Vestas-Canadian Wind Technology Inc., West Fraser Mills Ltd., and Walter Energy.

For a second year in a row, KMC Mining and ClearStream Energy Services attended the event. Both companies found it helpful in meeting potential employees and fellow exhibitors in the area.

“We are hoping to do some work in the northeast region of BC. We are trying to get a sense of the skillset and size of the workforce in the area. We also are here to gauge the market and some of the prospective students and college programs,” said Moe Farhat, human resources manager with KMC Mining.

“Our company as a whole has a commitment to participate with First Nation communities and we make an effort to make sure we have positions available for those communities and welcome them. With this particular event, we were invited last year and it was really successful. We are here again this year for the same reasons,” said Robert French, human resources coordinator of Industrial Services for ClearStream Energy Services.

One of the new companies to attend this year’s event was Canbrian Energy Inc. They are an independent, intermediate exploration and production company with a local office in Fort St. John. Chris King, senior surface land man commented: “We thought this would be a good opportunity to come and visit the community and share some information about our company and the opportunities we have available.”

Another new exhibitor was the Canadian Armed Forces. According to David McGurgin, a recruiter with the Canadian military, they came to the event to promote First Nations employment and post-secondary education.

“The reason that we come to events like this is to connect with Aboriginal communities. Our goal is always the same in terms of bridging that historical relationship that Aboriginal people have had with the Canadian Armed Forces. This is an opportunity to connect and provide education and opportunities that the military offers in terms of post-secondary education or jobs right out of high school.”

Tricia Hotchkiss, NLC student recruiter, was pleased with the turnout for the event.

“These career fairs are an excellent opportunity for organizations to connect with prospective and existing students, and workers and community members who are interested in post-secondary education and employment. I feel this event was a huge success. This also was a great networking opportunity and a chance to visit with a very vibrant and cheerful community.”

For more information on programs at NLC, contact Campus Services at any NLC campus at 1-866-463-6652.