By Marianne Curtis
On February 24, immigrants and newcomers alike attended the first Immigrant and Newcomer Employment Fair. Eastman Immigrant Services along with the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce is hosting the one day event designed to connect those seeking employment with perspective employers.
Melissa Perkins with the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce was pleased with the success of the fair.
“The fair was an overwhelming success,” stated Melissa Perkins. “We had no idea how many would attend and were hoping for about one hundred, we actually had over two hundred attendees come out.”
“This was a first-time event that had grown from an original concept of having a small info session on employer expectations and turned into a well-attended speaker panel information session and employment fair that brought together job-seekers with local employers looking to hire and accept resumes, explained Perkins.
The first-time event put on by Eastman Immigrant Services and the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce and consisted of two components.
There was an employer information session with speaker panel that consisted of various employers who spoke on topics related to employer expectations. The second part was an employment fair where job-seekers could converse with local employers that are hiring, apply on available positions and submit their resumes
“Attendees were keen to learn about employer expectations, converse with employers, apply for positions and hand out resumes,” noted Perkins. “The venue was packed and the crowd was engaged, dressed for success, and networking with local employers.”
The speaker panel included Zoe Clark from Eastman Immigrant Services, Marily Funk from SCU, Jeremy Janzen from Hytek Ltd., Craig Sangster from Biovail, and Sarah Houghton from Safeway. They addressed topics including top challenges faced by immigrants finding employment, importance of resume and cover letter, importance of English language ability in the workplace, teamwork in Canada, commitment to the employer, cultural sensitivity in the workplace and soft skills in the workplace.
Prospective employers included Hanover School Division, Steve’s Livestock, Sawney Beans, enVision Community Living, Steinbach Chamber, Best Way Lawn Care & Services, Canadian Tire, Biovail, Hytek Ltd., Ste. Anne Co-op, Canada Safeway, Palm Lite Electric, Service Canada, and Employment Manitoba.
Over two hundred perspective employees gathered at the Steinbach’s 55 Plus Center to find out how they can be successful in finding a job.