By Jack Kazmierski
Special to the Toronto Sun
More than 3,000 jobs were up for grabs at the recent National Job Fair & Training Expo. The event took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Sept. 15 and 16, featuring 89 exhibitors occupying 98 booths.
Although many GTA-based companies regularly attend the fair, employers from as far away as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec, Washington State, Los Angeles and New York were on hand searching for quality employees.
The Honourable Mary Anne Chambers congratulates Daniel Levesque on the success of the fifth installment of The National Job Fair & Training Expo.
California-based NetworkOmni Multilingual Communications is opening an office in the GTA and looking for at least 50 to 60 employees. "We came here from California because we're looking for multilingual people who can speak a number of different languages," explains Irene Stone, Director, NetworkOmni Multilingual Communications. "We're planning to build a call centre in this area, and we're looking for fluently bilingual people who can communicate in French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and some other languages."
The National Job Fair & Training Expo successfully brings together a wide array of employers and jobseekers. "The exhibitors are really happy, and most of them will be coming back next time," says Daniel Levesque, co-president of The National Job Fair Inc., owner and producer of the event. "They told me that the quality of the candidates is better this time than in the past."
Irene Stone agrees. "We've had good traffic and are really satisfied with the quality of the applicants here at the Job Fair. We've found quite a few excellent bilinguals who have excellent potential and are certain we'll be hiring some of them."
The Job Fair attracts two very distinct groups of jobseekers -- the unemployed and those seeking a better job. Franco, who wouldn't let us use his last name, presently works in a middle-management position with a well-known retailer. "I've seen the writing on the wall, so to speak," he says about his present employment, "and I've got a feeling that there are some cutbacks on the horizon, so I'm here to offer my skills to potential employers before the axe falls at work."
Other jobseekers attend the Fair in pursuit of a dream. Latoya Richards has always wanted to work as a flight attendant and decided to drop by the Jetsgo booth during her lunch hour "just to meet the decision-makers and leave my resume," she says.
Richards knows Jetsgo only considers fluently bilingual candidates for flight attendant positions and, although her French is a bit rusty, she figures she'll "throw her hat into the ring anyway and see what happens."
On day two of the Fair the Honourable Mary Anne Chambers, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities for the Province of Ontario stopped by to speak with the crowds. "I congratulate the people who made this fair a success," she said. "It's a remarkable partnership effort. Employers, colleges, trainers and community-based organizations have come together under one roof to help people find work, as well as the training and education they need to achieve their goals.
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"The Toronto Sun is also sponsoring the fair and is doing a great job of getting the word out. Events such as this can open so many doors and create so many opportunities for personal growth."
The next National Job Fair & Training Expo is scheduled for April 6 and 7, and will take place in the same venue in the North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
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