Houston Forest Products

Pillars continue to meet to support workers in transition

Pillars are tentatively planning a second Job Fair for September 13, depending on need and funding.

A second Job Fair is tentatively being planned for September 13.

“It depends on funding and whether the [Pillar] committees want to do it,” said Andrea Newell, Labour Market Strategy Consultant for the District of Houston.

“There is probably a strong possibility that we’ll do it, depending on the need. If a lot of people have been hired, then we won’t necessarily do it,” she said. “But Houston is really central, it draws people from Smithers and Burns Lake.”

The Economic Development Pillar is deciding about the possibility of a Reverse Trade Show in Houston, where smaller businesses would display what they can offer to the larger companies, Newell said.

The Community Services Pillar continues to meet to ensure support services are available for laid off workers from Houston Forest Products.

The most recent report about HFP workers shows that 51 workers accepted other West Fraser jobs, 27 are retiring, 33 are considering retraining and 66 are looking for work. Those looking for work are mostly looking in Houston or in new industry.

Service Canada and Work BC held three sessions for workers at HFP in May, with 20 people attending.

At a recent services pillar meeting, Carrie Dusterhoft, Community Adjustment Manager with the Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training, reported reaching out to local logging contractors.

Newell said there doesn’t seem to be much change right now and they haven’t heard of any layoffs.

“They all seem to be working as far as we know.”

For those still looking for work, the Northwest Community College is holding information sessions Thursday, June 19, to share about employment, training and self-employment opportunities. See ad on page 3 for more.


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