New job search tools to help local job seekers

New job search tools to help local job seekers

Grand Erie job seekers have a powerful new tool to search for local jobs, being launched just as the economy starts to reopen.

Grand Erie Jobs, launched by the Workforce Planning Board, features 500+ local job listings on any day covering all sectors and careers, an interactive map and a career explorer tool.  All jobs shown are located in Brantford, New Credit, Six Nations and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Executive Director Danette Dalton said the tool has been in the works since last year, before COVID-19, but the launch was moved up because people need help now.

“The pandemic has hit local residents hard, with thousands losing their jobs or having their hours cut, so there’s a clear need for this,” Dalton said. “Grand Erie Jobs is going to be an essential tool as our economy starts to recover and into the future, connecting job seekers with local employers.”

Danette said Grand Erie Jobs will fill a gap identified by many community organizations and leaders. It has been three years since there last was a local job board, but it didn’t serve the entire Grand Erie area.

Grand Erie Jobs is automated to crawl more than 20 popular national, provincial and local online job sites to find jobs in the area, then puts them in one spot, so job seekers don’t have to search multiple websites. Employers don’t post directly on the website.

The Workforce Planning Board believes the interactive map sets it apart from other job boards.

Users can see and search job postings shown on the map. The map also shows the location of 400+ community services people might use, from employment centres to public transit, child care, libraries and government services.

“The map is designed that way because job seekers may want to know if there is child care, schools or transit near the workplace,” Dalton said. “Other services are listed because residents sometimes need community supports to be successful, whether access to food banks, health services, counselling and more.”

Virtual job fair will feature 19 local employers

Virtual job fair will feature 19 local employers

A virtual job fair will be held June 15 – 18 as a creative way to help employers connect with job seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The job fair, taking place via the Zoom online meeting platform, will feature 19 local employers from Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

The event has been organized by a dozen community employment and business agencies, including the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

The job fair will feature employers making 10-minute presentations about their employment needs. Job seekers can watch, ask questions and connect on Zoom, or watch the event via a live YouTube stream.

Participating employers include Mitsui High-Tec, Rassaun Services, Nelson Foods and Securitas.

Job seekers must register in advance to participate and there is a limited number of spots available. For registry information contact any of our partnered organizations for details, and check them out on social media.

The following organizations have partnered to put on the job fair:
Brantford Brant Chamber of Commerce, St Leonard’s Community Services, Community Living Brant, Fanshawe College Community Career and Employment Services, YMCA Skills for Steel, Six Nations Polytechnic, Simcoe Chamber of Commerce, Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB), Grand River Employment and Training (GREAT), Wilfrid Laurier University, Conestoga College and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

There’s cautious optimism despite job numbers

There’s cautious optimism despite job numbers

Another 1,500 Brantford area residents were out of work in May, as COVID-19 continued to send shockwaves through the economy. Brantford’s jobless rate hit 11.3% in May, up from 9.4% in April, according to estimates released by Statistics Canada Friday. An estimated 8,800 people were out of work last month, almost double from May 2019. However, there are signs that the picture isn’t as bleak as the numbers suggest, according to the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie. The board says governments have eased COVID-19 restrictions and more businesses have reopened since the middle of May, when Statistics Canada conducted its local survey. “We may have reached a peak. In Brantford and across our Grand Erie region there are positive signs that people are going back to work and businesses are reopening,” said Executive Director Danette Dalton. “Our local economy and job market still have a long, long way to go, but community organizations and leaders are working hard to make the recovery as fast and smooth as possible.” In May, Brantford saw women, especially young women, impacted the most by job losses, while employment climbed for men in the core working age group of 25-54. Women have been harder hit by pandemic job losses because more women than men work in the service sector. Youth employment continued to fall last month in the area, which is consistent with Canada’s overall numbers. According to Statistics Canada the national unemployment for students returning to school is 40% – triple from a year ago – while it tops 25% for youth who aren’t students.
COVID-19 impacts thousands of people’s jobs

COVID-19 impacts thousands of people’s jobs

Thousands more Brantford residents were thrown out of work in April as COVID-19 slammed the economy.

An estimated 7,300 local residents were unemployed in April, up 2,700 from March and up almost 4,000 since January, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday. April’s Brantford jobless rate of 9.4% – a 3.5% one-month jump – was the highest in nine years.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie says Brantford has fared worse than most surrounding large communities, with the exception of the 9.9% recorded in St. Catharines-Niagara, an area with thousands of tourism-related jobs. Hamilton has the lowest April jobless rate at 7.5%.

“You can’t sugar coat this: thousands of our residents and businesses are feeling the pain of COVID-19’s impact on employment and the economy,” said Danette Dalton, the board’s executive director. “We hope some of that pain will be eased very soon, as businesses reopen and people are called back to work.”

Over the last two months in Brantford, men have been harder hit than women by full-time job losses, and there’s evidence that more people have seen their hours drop to part time. The age group that has seen the largest share of job loss has been young workers, aged 15 to 24, particularly part-timers. There have been modest job gains among older women, including seniors.

People working in manufacturing and construction saw job losses of more than 10% in April, while there were also large drops in the number of people working in sales, service, transport, arts, culture and recreation. There were modest gains in the number of people working in government services, finance, insurance and related occupations.

Vote to help name our new local job portal

Vote to help name our new local job portal

A new community job board is looking for a name.

Residents are invited to vote on a list of five names for the job portal, which will soon be launched by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

The portal will show up-to-date job listings in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties. Local job postings will be automatically pulled from about 20 frequently used online job sites, and the location and details of each position will be shown on an easy-to-use map.

The five names in the running for Name the Job Portal voting are:

1.       Jobs2Advance

2.       Grand Erie Jobs

3.       Advance2Jobs

4.       Careers2Grow

5.       Job Radar

Voting can be done by going to: HERE

Name the Job Portal voting will close on May 18.

Many local workers lose work due to COVID-19: survey

Many local workers lose work due to COVID-19: survey

More than 40% of Grand Erie residents have lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis, a new survey shows.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie’s COVID-19 Worker Impact Survey of 450 people found that 37% are temporarily not working, while another 5% have permanently lost work.

The biggest impact has been on people in the sectors of accommodation and food services, retail and wholesale trade, and education. Youth (ages of 18 – 24) working part time in the retail and food sectors appear particularly hard hit.

One in three respondents said they were worried about having enough food, and paying their rent, mortgage and paying monthly bills.

The local survey’s results are consistent with those from six other workforce planning boards in Southwestern Ontario, who conducted the same survey. Collectively, Workforce Planning West surveyed 2,570 people.

“The results of this survey will give government, business, and the community a better understanding of how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted workers and their families in our region,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie. “These results will also help inform where the Workforce Planning Board focuses its efforts to support our community.”

The survey asked if and how a worker’s employment status changed since March 2, their occupation, and which sector they were employed in. Questions were designed to gain insight into which groups of workers have been most affected by COVID-19 and in what ways.

In the Grand Erie region, 54% of respondents said they are working less or not at all, 27% are working the same amount, while 19% are working more, especially people working in health care, transportation and warehousing.

Other highlights from the survey of Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk residents include:

  • 23% of residents are working from home temporarily (13% lower than the regional average of 36%)
  • 65% of residents are confident they will be able to find work after the COVID-19 crisis ends
  • 80% are aware of worker supports set up by government, and 52% said the programs meet their expectations
  • Residents said the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), increased access to Employment Insurance and support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres are the most important supports put in place by the government at this time
  • 85% believe grocery stores are doing enough to support their families at this time, and 80% believe pharmacies are doing enough
  • 50% of residents believe that our communities will be stronger after COVID-19

The COVID-19 Worker Impact Survey was open from March 26 to April 20. Grand Erie region results had a margin of error of 5%, 19 times out of 20; and the Southwestern Ontario results had a margin of error of 2%, 19 times out of 20.

Two dashboards are available to help people view and interpret the raw survey results online:

COVID-19 Worker Impact Survey Results Dashboard

Comparing Local vs. Regional Data from the COVID-19 Worker Impact Results Survey Dashboard

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