Career fair hopes to fill hundreds of vacancies





« We have never done anything on this scale. With the career fair fair we’re putting emphasis on the local markets. We’re encouraging people to bring their resumés with them and come to talk to us in person. »

 

 

 

The City of Calgary is facing a potential staffing crisis as it tries to fill hundreds of current vacancies including 600 positions within the fire department, police service and EMS.



"It could become a critical situation," said Cindy Munn, a spokeswoman for the City of Calgary.



To help find suitable candidates for the mass of openings, the city is for the first time in 30 years launching a career fair, which begins today.



The three-day head-hunting event opens at the Municipal Building atrium before moving to the Southland Leisure Centre tomorrow and wrapping up at the Village Square Leisure Centre on Wednesday.



"We have never done anything on this scale," said Munn, explaining that, in addition to 600 available positions within protective services, the other priority area is transportation, with available positions that range from labourers to engineers.



"The City of Calgary’s recent Citizen Satisfaction Survey has told us that the citizens of Calgary consider protective services and transportation priority areas," said Munn.



She added that in the past the city has been "passive" about the way it recruited new employees, relying on prospective candidates to seek out the positions on the city’s website, but a rapidly growing number of Calgarians in need of services, coupled with hundreds of existing employees expected to soon retire, has led to the need for more aggressive strategies to help recruit new employees to complement the City of Calgary’s current 14,000-member workforce.



Though she’s recently returned from a recruitment mission to Eastern Canada where the City of Calgary gathered more than 1,200 resumés, Munn insists the priority is to fill vacant positions with local people.



"With the career fair we’re putting the emphasis on the local market," she said. "We have 31 different business units and 23 of them will be presented at the career fair at the Municipal Building with smaller numbers at the other locations because of limited space."



Other positions available include planners, assessors, bylaw officers, heavy-duty mechanics and construction workers.



"We’re encouraging people to bring their resumés with them and come to talk to us in person," said Munn.



The career fair will run from noon to 8 p.m. on each of the three days. For more information, call 311 or online at calgary.ca/careers.