“If your job is to sweep the floor, you should sweep that floor better than anybody else has swept that floor.”
Same goes for ditch digging or arranging material, says Allan Pusey, a Nelson-based employment specialist with the Skilled Trades Employment Program, an organization that matches employers in trades with job seekers.
“Those tasks are an opportunity to ultimately prove yourself and prove your value so that you look like you take pride in your work, you contribute to the betterment of the team and understand that all of the tasks that need to be completed in a job are important.”
Pusey says that he’s got a full slate of employers reaching out to him for appropriate candidates for certified and uncertified trades positions – jobs that, in the Kootenays, are growing in number.
According to WorkBC, approximately 1,200 jobs have been created in the Kootenays over the past year and projections forecast another 2,700 more to be added by 2023. Among the top-growing job markets in the Kootenay region, which WorkBC designates as the area from Rock Creek to the Alberta border in the east and north to Radium, are health care and social assistance, manufacturing, retail and construction.
For trades workers, Pusey says, it’s the attitude that makes a candidate stand out.
“Any brand new person on a job site who gets handed a broom or a shovel or some undesirable task needs to understand that the person who runs the company has probably done those jobs already as well and has worked their way up from that point.”
Beyond trades jobs, the Kootenay region of B.C. has also experienced the highest growth rate for small business start-ups in the province. From 2014 to 2017, the region welcomed approximately 2,600 new businesses, achieving a growth rate of nearly 20 per cent. By comparison, B.C. saw a growth rate of just 7.7 per cent for that same time period.
With job hunts, new businesses and construction careers though, one piece of Pusey’s advice rings true.
“I think if you have the belief in yourself that you can do whatever it is that you’re setting out to do and trust that your persistence will pay off, then that’s, that’s valuable,” he says.
“Those are skills that an employer can’t teach you. Those are things that people need to work on of their own.”
Pusey and representatives from major employers in the region such as Save on Foods, Community Living British Columbia and Correctional Service Canada will be looking for prospective job applicants at this year’s Kootenay edition of the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair, taking place at the Days Inn & Conference Centre in Cranbrook on Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.