A career fair that was meant to help Canal Flats Canfor mill employees was cancelled last week, with organizers worried not many people would attend.
The job fair was co-organized by Canfor and the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce and was to have been held on Thursday, April 16th at the Canal Flats arena from noon to 5 p.m., but after another employment-related information session held the week before drew just 15 people, it was decided to cancel the fair.
“The Canfor transition team felt they just wouldn’t get attendance. I was really disappointed it didn’t go ahead, but I understand why it was cancelled,” said chamber of commerce executive director Susan Clovechok. “It’s hard for the prospective employers who were to be at the fair to spend the time and resources if it doesn’t seem they’ll be talking to many potential employees.”
Clovechok said the chamber is keen to work with Canfor to help find other options and solutions for the issue. She added she’s also happy to have mill employees call her, so she can point them in the direction of those looking for new employees.
Mill employee Daniel Bybee expressed frustration at the situation.
“My feeling is the production workers aren’t getting a whole lot of sympathy,” he said, pointing out the the fair and the prior information session were held during working hours, limiting the ability of employees to actually attend.
“It (the fair) was only promoted through word of mouth,” said Bybee, adding many of the employees on his shift didn’t know about it until after it had been cancelled.
“The feeling here is apathy. People have given up and are just counting down the days. It’s tough,” he said.
More than 80 mill employees are facing mass layoffs on May 4th.
Mill employees interested in contacting Clovechok can reach her at the chamber at 250-342-2844.