More than 5,000 people attended Site C job fairs last month

Site C job fairs throughout the Peace Region and Northern B.C. last month drew over 5,000 job seekers.

Events were held in Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Tumbler Ridge, Mackenzie, Prince George, and Quesnel.

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The ramp up of hiring for the $8.8 billion hydro project is happening against the backdrop of a rising rate of unemployment in the Northeast, which went from 5.5 per cent in August, to 9.2 per cent in February.

BC Hydro says the main civil works contractor, Peace River Hydro Partners, will require 600 workers by early summer. That number will peak at 1,500 in 2018.

"We received several thousand resumes and are in the process of reviewing them," Ardith Brule, human resources director for Peace River Hydro Partners said. "There are a lot of good candidates that we will interview in the coming weeks."

Business-to-business meetings with BC Hydro contractors were also held last moth, drawing over 700 local businesses.

"The purpose of the job fairs and business sessions is to facilitate local employment and contract opportunities on Site C construction," Jessica McDonald, president and CEO of BC Hydro said in a release. "We want to make sure that local and aboriginal businesses and workers have every opportunity to benefit from this project."

While the latest round of job fairs has wrapped up, hiring for the project is ongoing and people are encouraged to apply directly to the companies working on the project through WorkBC, Employment Connections and through BC Hydro's Site C website.

Businesses are encouraged to register with the Site C business directory through the Site C website and BC Bid.

"We're pleased to have partnered with BC Hydro to host the job fairs and business networking sessions," Jon Garson, president and CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce said. "This is an important project for B.C. and its construction is creating needed employment and business opportunities."

Construction of the Site C dam started in July 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2024.

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