“There’s a ton of work right now in Salmon Arm. If you’re looking for work, now’s the time to be looking in Salmon Arm.”
These words are how Brent Moffat, job developer at Work BC in Salmon Arm and Sicamous, paints the current employment picture.
The new Chances gaming centre, with an opening target of early August, is in the process of hiring 85 people. Between 500 and 600 have applied.
Moffat also said the hog-processing facility in the industrial park is going to be re-opening soon and will need 35 people immediately.
As well, there are lots of seasonal positions.
“The nice thing about Chances and the hog processing – they go year round,” he said.
For people seeking training, Moffat notes Okanagan College is a good option as it has lots of strong diploma programs.
“The two-year business diploma program… any business likes that. A person will have all the fundamental skills and you can train them the way you want them to work.”
He said he hasn’t seen a big influx of people coming back from the oil fields looking for work. He also notes skilled trades are always in demand.
Mark Marino is the school district’s career supervisor. He works with school-based coordinators to bring programs and opportunities to students.
Students in Grades 11 and 12 can take ‘dual credit’ programs, where they get high school as well as college credits, tuition-free. Programs range from professional cook to hairstylist to residential construction.
Secondary school apprenticeships are also offered where students who work with a qualified tradesperson can earn 16 high school credits as well as qualify for a $1,000 scholarship.
Marino notes that twice a year the school holds industry advisory meetings where different employers attend. They help guide school district programming.
“In terms of training for us, it’s more than creating welders and electricians. It’s students pursuing a passion, acquiring lifelong skills and building confidence,” says Marino.
For more information about school district career training, go to www.career.sd83.bc.ca, call Marino at 250-832-3080 or call individual schools and ask for their career coordinator.