Tomorrow will mark the beginning of a media campaign urging new Canadians in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to move to Prince George.
The Consider Prince George campaign will use print media, TV ads, Facebook and Twitter to tell the stories of recent immigrants who came to Canada and built a new life in Prince George. The Prince George Chamber of Commerce is launching the campaign as part of a four-part campaign by local agencies to attract skilled workers to the city, chamber CEO Christie Ray said.
"We're trying to plant the seed in people's heads to consider Prince George as a place to live and work," Ray said. "We're looking at people who are elegible to work in Canada... who are unemployed or underemployed in the Lower Mainland and Island areas."
In planning sessions with chamber members last year, businesses identified the lack of skilled workers in five key areas as a priority for recruitment, Ray said. Engineers and technologists, skilled tradespeople, heavy equipment operators, and business- and health-related fields were identified as areas employers were having trouble filling positions in.
"[Consider Prince George] is certainly based on what the members have told us they are looking for," Ray said.
The media campaign will include ads in English, Mandarin and Punjabi -Indo-Canadians and Chinese-Canadians are the two largest groups of new Canadians coming to B.C. -and run until the end of February, she added. However, she said, the chamber is hoping to attract skilled workers from a wide variety of backgrounds to take a look at what Prince George has to offer.
The program is funded by the Immigrant Employment Council of B.C., which also funding Initiatives Prince George's second annual Prince George Online Job Fair on Nov. 19 and an industry-specific recruitment campaign by the Central Interior Logging Association.
Ray said it made sense for the chamber to partner with Initiatives Prince George, and the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society - which provides services for new immigrants settling in Prince George.
Initiatives Prince George's Online Job Fair will allow skilled workers in the Lower Mainland area to connect with local employers. The first online job fair, held on June 4, drew 1,170 participants and 13 potential employers.
"We expect additional interest in the second job fair as a result of the Consider Prince George campaign being launched in Metro Vancouver several weeks before..." Initiatives Prince George CEO Heather Oland said in a statement.
The Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society will be hosting Prince George: Working to Attract New Canadians, an engagement session for businesses interested in hiring new Canadians, on Oct. 30.
"IMSS, through the Welcome PG initiative, is hosting the business engagement session to provide an open forum for local employers to discuss and share challenges in finding skilled new Canadians, as well as their existing hiring practices," Welcome PG program coordinator Romana Pasca said in a written statement. "The session will also provide information about immigration issues and best strategies and examples of successful approaches to attracting, hiring and retaining immigrant employees."
For more information about the Consider Prince George campaign go online to www.facebook.com/ConsiderPG or @ConsiderPG on Twitter.
More information and registration details about the online job fair are available at www.pgonlinejobfair.com. Businesses interested in the IMSS presentation can contact Pasca at rom...@imss.ca or by calling 250-562-2900, ext. 20.