A company planning to set up an operation in Hay River believes it can find local people to fill five or six new jobs.

“I’m confident based on what we’ve seen that I’ve got strong candidates and more than enough candidates to be able to fill those jobs, which feels wonderful,” said Mark Jackson, the assistant general manager for B.C. and Alberta with Cando Rail Services.

Mark Jackson, assistant general manager for B.C. and Alberta with Cando Rail Services, was part of a team from the company visiting Hay River on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to seek new employees. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Jackson and two other representatives from the company held a job fair on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 at Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre to find potential employees.

The work will involve moving railcars for offloading services for Imperial Oil, which brings fuel to Hay River via CN.

The workers will be trained to drive a Trackmobile, which is a piece of rail equipment that can hook onto railcars to move them and has the ability to drive on the road and tracks.

Jackson said more than 50 people visited the job fair to express interest in working for Cando Rail Services, plus a dozen or so parents dropped by to get information for their children who may be working elsewhere or still attending school.

Plus, the company received applications online.

Jackson was very pleased with the interest.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, to be honest with you,” he said, noting Cando Rail Services knew some jobs in Hay River are seasonal and many jobs are involved in the mining and oil and gas sectors at camps in various locations.

“What I was most concerned about is that the people that were here looking for employment weren’t looking for the type of jobs we’re offering,” he explained. “Because the jobs we’re offering aren’t necessarily going to be the highest paying jobs. They may not be as sexy as going off making the big dollars at a campsite or whatnot, but the jobs do provide a better quality of life because you get to be with your friends and family on a much more regular basis because you’re not having to leave the community to do the work you’re being employed to do.”

The jobs are expected to pay in the $24-$28 an hour range, which could be a bit more depending on experience.

Jackson noted applicants do not have a lot of railway experience, but the company will train those hired to work safely.

If the company had been unable to find potential workers in Hay River, it would have had to bring in others from elsewhere.

Cando Rail Services is looking to start operations in Hay River by the beginning of April.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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