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Event held to help starved employers

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Omar Pache has been in Windsor for a couple of months and is eager to get to work and make a life for himself in Canada.

“I want to work,” the native of the Dominican Republic said while attending a skilled trades apprenticeship day held by Unifor Local 195.

“I wanna do something over here and I come and I try to speak with everybody and I cross my finger. Maybe I have the training and maybe I work faster too.”

A couple hundred people attended each of the sessions, this morning and this afternoon, at Unifor’s Action Centre on Somme.

Many of the exhibitors shared information trying attract people to industries starving for talent.

“We have an aging workforce and we thought this is a very good opportunity to invite our members who lost their job and the community to have the exposure,” said Unifor Local 195 president Emile Nabbout.

Taylor Pruyn showed up to encourage others to get into the trades.

“I've got a career that's already set up,” said the grade 12 L’Essor student. “I've started even before I've even graduated high school so it's a good opportunity.”

The opportunities are abundant in many fields.

“There's a huge shortage of cooks right now,” said Melody Nowack, literacy supervisor at the UHC Hub of Opportunities who pointed out the culinary shortage is in large part a result of the pandemic.

She says employers are asking about pre-apprenticeship students and expects the same after their next student intake in April.

“We're expecting to have the same thing we've had for the past several years. Having more placements than we do participants.” Nowak said.

Nick Hayes, apprentice manager at St. Clair College, is taking calls from industry as well.

“I need the youth to come in. We need those high school students. We need those adults looking to change careers,” Hayes said.

According to Workforce Windsor-Essex, as of Thursday, there are over 2200 active jobs or which 415 fall under the trades category.

“There's so many opportunities right now,” Hayes emphasized. “Machine trades. Construction trades. Culinary trades. Service trades. Everybody's crying for workers now.”

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