Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Julia

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Julia

Today, in our Frontline Fridays feature we talk to Special Constable Julia Bergsma. Julia works for Wilfrid Laurier University in the Special Constable Service Division.

In our Frontline Fridays series, the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie pays tribute to essential workers in our community. Essential workers have helped us cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

What does an average day look like for you?

Julia: The Laurier Special Constable Service (SCS) is open 24/7 to respond to calls for service at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford and Waterloo campuses. As a sworn officer with the Laurier SCS, an average day begins by participating in roll call and being briefed by my colleagues who worked on the prior shift.

Throughout our shifts we patrol campus by vehicle, foot (or bike when the weather permits) to conduct security checks and respond to any on campus emergencies or general calls for service. We are dispatched to calls through the SCS Communications Centre. Special constables can make arrests and lay charges under the same authority as police officers.

SCS regularly connects with Laurier stakeholders to ensure the service reflects the wants and needs of the campus, and is creating a positive, student-centred environment. We listen to concerns, offer education and crime prevention programs for students, faculty and staff, and employ the Ontario Mobilization and Engagement model of community policing. We strive to provide a caring and professional atmosphere ensuring we are respectful and committed to Indigeneity and equity, diversity and inclusion as part of our core values.

We must document our work activities, and each shift we must complete written reports for all calls for service.

How has Covid-19 has affected your day-to-day work?  

Julia: We have additional safety requirements in place, including wearing face masks and regularly disinfecting our shared workplaces. Laurier SCS has an app, called SAFEHawk, which students can use to contact us. The app now also includes a self-screening assessment tool for COVID-19 that all Laurier employees – including special constables – must complete before coming on campus. With our campuses quieter than usual because many are studying from home there is a heightened need for us to be proactive in our patrols of campus.

What has it been like to be an essential worker during the pandemic? 

Julia: Being an essential worker during the pandemic has its share of difficulties and stressors. Much of our day is spent interacting with different people whether they be from the Laurier community or the community at large. In a time where social distancing is of high importance, we understand It may not always be possible. We take every precaution to limit the chances of exposure to our team, or by our team.

It’s not uncommon for us to interact with and provide support for marginalized members of our community. We do our best to help everyone we interact with. This winter our team, along with the Laurier Wellness Centre, St. Leonard’s Community Services and the Salvation Army assembled cold weather kits with hats, mitts, socks, snacks and other essential items to give out to people we encounter who may need them. We’ve also been involved in recent incidents of drug overdoses where lives were saved by special constables by administering CPR, first aid and naloxone.

What have been the greatest rewards and challenges in your work?

Julia: I became a special constable because I wanted to help people and make a difference. That’s my goal when I come to work each day: to try and make a positive contribution. As a Laurier alumna, I also enjoy the opportunity to be able to mentor students who are looking for support.

In terms of challenges, the community we serve is always changing. Each year students graduate, and new students start. This creates an ongoing need for us to educate incoming students as to who we are and how we can help so that they make use of our services when they need them during their years at Laurier.

Another great reward is the opportunity to work at convocation at the Sanderson Centre. Many times we see students who we have assisted at some point in their journey crossing the stage at the graduation ceremony to receive their degrees. It’s rewarding to see them accomplishing their goals. Laurier has a genuine sense of community, making it a great place to work.

What have been your greatest supports and means of coping as an essential worker this past year? 

Julia: I know that all members of our team have dealt with the challenges of the pandemic in different ways. For me personally, getting exercise and staying physically active has been a big help. I’ve also appreciated being able to lean on friends and family for support. I’m grateful to have a supportive workplace with coworkers and supervisors you can rely on.  We’re always checking in on each other and doing our best to maintain a positive mindset. As an institution that promotes well-being, Laurier also has several different resources available to staff.

What made you pursue your career? What lead you to take a job in this community? 

Julia: I enjoyed being part of the community as a Laurier student in Brantford and always appreciated the work that SCS did on campus. I knew that I wanted to work within law enforcement, but for a service that focused on education and community support. For me, Laurier SCS fit that bill. I really appreciate the opportunity to work with people in the community, build connections, provide assistance to those who are in need and offer support to victims of crime.

When you look at the Laurier SCS team, we all come from a diverse set of backgrounds. Some, like me, are recent alumni. Others are former police officers. Regardless of background, we’re all drawn to the opportunity to make a positive difference.

What was your education/training? 

Julia: I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Contemporary Studies. Some of my colleagues have diplomas in legal studies, police foundations, or degrees in Criminology or other fields. Several are pursuing further education via the online Policing Program offered at Laurier.

Special constables are required to meet specific training standards as identified in the agreement between the local Municipal Police Service and the university for continued employment. We receive annual block training with the Brantford Police Service. As part of our onboarding we also participate in training on anti-oppression, micro aggression and implicit bias, and indigenous awareness.

With our director’s support we can pursue other ongoing education and training opportunities. For example, I completed training in de-escalation and mental health awareness. I continually seek opportunities for ongoing learning and improvement.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing your career?

Julia: I’d strongly suggest pursuing post-secondary education. Regardless of your field of study, further education will help hone the critical thinking skills, empathy and collaborative skills you’ll need to be successful as a special constable. I’d also suggest getting involved in your community as a volunteer and maintaining a high level of physical fitness. I think it’s also essential to maintain a growth mindset. Continually challenge yourself to learn, challenge your assumptions, and be open to new ideas, viewpoints and opportunities.

Learn more about Laurier’s Special Constable Service here.

Local Training, Education and Certification for careers like Julia’s:

Laurier University

Criminology (BA) | Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

100% Online Policing and Criminology Degrees | Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police:

Becoming a Special Constable – OACP Certificate Testing

Home – OACP Certificate Testing

Mohawk College

Police Foundations – 218 – 258 | Mohawk College

Conestoga College

Police Foundations | Full-time | Ontario College Diploma (conestogac.on.ca)

Westervelt College

Law, Security and Police Foundations – Westervelt College

Fanshawe College

Police Foundations (Accelerated) | Fanshawe College

Statistics Canada Occupational Classification:

NOC 2011 – 4311 – Police officers (except commissioned) – Unit group (statcan.gc.ca)

Search Police Service Jobs:

Grand Erie Jobs

 

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Laura

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Laura

In this week’s Frontline Fridays feature we talk to Laura Middelkoop, a Grade 12 student at Brantford Collegiate Institute. Frontline Fridays stories pay tribute to Grand Erie essential workers in the communities of Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk. 

During COVID-19, Laura has been working two part-time jobs: at Metro Grocery Store and the Chartwell Tranquility Place Retirement Residence in Brantford.

Laura’s great grandfather, Mick Collins, who was a resident of Tranquility Place sadly passed away during the time this interview was conducted. The staff of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie wish to extend our deepest condolences to Laura and her family during this difficult time. Thank you Laura, for sharing your story.

What does an average day look like for you?

Laura: I am a student at BCI and during my evenings and weekends, I work two part-time jobs – at Metro as a cashier and I also work at Chartwell Tranquility Place retirement residence as a receptionist and screener..so it is busy! I am a full-time Grade 12 student and when I am not at one of my jobs, I am currently taking both in person and online classes. I am working hard towards attending university this fall for theatre production.

How has Covid-19 has affected your day-to-day work? 

Laura: I have been working at Metro for almost three years, strictly as a cashier. Once the pandemic began, Metro was required to have an employee at the front door to screen all staff and costumers as they entered. I took this opportunity to expand my hours and help out with different departments in the store. Recently, Metro has started to offer online orders with contactless pick up. I took on the responsibility of picking online orders. I understand how important it is to keep our most at-risk customers safe and to discourage more people from going out.

I had been volunteering at Tranquility Place from a young age. When the pandemic hit, I knew I needed to step up and begin working in supporting the retirement community. I worked full time from March to August 2020 delivering mail and packages, doing paperwork, screening incoming visitors and staff, helping in the kitchen, running activities and the tuck shop, and providing companionship and support for the residents. When I returned to full-time school classes in September, I settled in and began working part-time as a screener and receptionist. 

What has it been like to be an essential worker during the pandemic?

Laura: It is an honour to be an essential worker during the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic I have been working at two very different essential workplaces and as both my parents are also essential workers, I have seen the pandemic from various angles. I have seen myself and my co-workers go through the highs and lows while working during these times. With changes coming my way every day at work, I think being flexible and focused are the two most important skills I have developed.

What have been the greatest rewards and challenges in your work?

Laura: I try to be very personable when I am working. Having to wear a mask and maintain social distancing has made it much harder to have meaningful interactions with people. At Metro my shifts are much quieter and I miss the silly banter with customers.

Communicating with residents at Tranquility place who have a hearing impairment has been more challenging due to personal protective equipment and social distancing. The greatest reward at Tranquility Place is seeing the positive impact that I could make on other’s lives. I realized just how important the small things can be.

I also got to work in the same building that my great grandfather Mick Collins lived in – a place where visitors have been drastically restricted. He recently passed and it was an incredible gift that I got to see him on his 100th birthday.

What have been your greatest supports and means of coping as an essential worker this past year? 

Laura: The most reassuring thing this past year has been knowing that I am not alone. As a cashier at Metro, I am constantly ringing through healthcare professionals, trades people, first responders, and many other essential workers. Seeing these other essential workers all around me inspires and reminds me that we are all working through this together. To cope with the added pressures, I have been trying to take better care of myself this year both physically and mentally. With any extra spare time I have, I’ve been keeping my mind busy by working hard on my university application portfolios.

What made you pursue the work you do in your current jobs? What lead you to take a job in this community? 

Laura: Working at Metro has been my part-time job for many years. In early pandemic days, I saw how quickly we would run out of stock. I realized then how important working in a grocery store is. I decided I needed to do more so I took on other roles in the store.

I joined the team at Tranquility Place because I recognized the community needed assistance. I knew that I needed to step up and do my part to help Brantford’s senior population. It will be very bittersweet to move on from these jobs as I go on to study my passion of theatre in university.

What was your training/education? 

Laura: I took on the part-time jobs at both Metro and Tranquility Place as a high school student. When I started, I went through each workplace’s specific orientation and training programs. However, training, learning, and adapting never stops in my jobs. I participate in training programs, group communications, staying on top of directives and policies from the provincial government, local public health, and other governing bodies.

What advice would you give to someone interested in following a similar path?

Laura: For students looking to start their employment and career path, I would like them to know that both jobs have been great experiences for me. Lots of chances for new things. Both Metro and Tranquility Place offer opportunities for developing career pathways.

My best advice for students looking for a part time job is to get involved in the community and get your name out there; you never know when the perfect opportunity may come up.

For local training, certification and volunteer and entry level job opportunities for positions like Laura’s:

 Job & Training Opportunities

Careers  | Metro

Ontario – Sobeys Jobs (sobeyscareers.com)

Retail as a Career Scholarship Program | Retail Council of Canada

Certified Food Handler : Retail Council of Canada – RetailEducation

Food / Beverage | ontariocolleges.ca

Student Employment 2021 – Haldimand County

Get help finding a youth or student job | Ontario.ca

Free Training for Hospitality IndustrySkills2Work | CCES Fanshawe College

Find jobs in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations-New Credit (workforceplanningboard.org)

Welcome to NPAAMB

Volunteering:

Chartwell Retirement Residences Volunteer Opportunities (careersatchartwell.com)

volunteers | brava-website (bravabrant.com)

Volunteer – City of Brantford

Volunteer – Brant County

Volunteer Opportunities – Norfolk County

Community Youth Resources and Assistance

Youth Employment Skills Strategy – Work Readiness and Advancement Program (WRAP) | St. Leonard’s (st-leonards.com)

Job Seeker :: Career Link

The Student Office – GREAT (greatsn.com)

  

Transit survey shows public support

Transit survey shows public support

About 70% of people would use a public transit system between area communities, a new transit survey says.

The Navigating Grand Erie survey of 425 residents found that 71% would use a transit system that connected the communities of Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit, if it was available. A smaller number of residents are interested in transit to travel to cities outside Grand Erie.

Two in five people would use an intercommunity transit for leisure or personal purposes, while 1 in 5 would use it to get to and from work, according to the transit survey by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

Executive Director Danette Dalton said the survey was conducted to follow up the organization’s earlier research and surveys that showed that some residents can’t obtain work in certain areas or have left jobs because of the distance from their homes, the time/cost of travelling to and from work, and the lack of transportation options.

“Limited transportation affects job seekers’ capacity to find and maintain work,” Dalton said. “On the flip side, lack of transit can limit the ability of businesses to attract and retain employees.”

The Navigating Grand Erie transit survey found that while 80% of full-time workers own vehicles, only 48% of people who were unemployed do.

Public transit currently exists in Brantford (Brantford Transit) and Norfolk (Ride Norfolk), while the County of Brant offers a Brant e-ride program, but other parts of the Grand Erie area are without service. There are also few transit links, with limited destinations and often long travel times, for residents who work outside the area, such as in Cambridge and Woodstock, Dalton said.

“Efforts are underway by the Southwest Community Transit (SCT) to expand transit services between mainly rural communities,” she said. “We believe the survey will help community and transit leaders better understand the needs and interests of the workforce in enhancing services, now and in the future.”

To read the report, visit our Transportation Survey page.

An interactive report with highlights is also available.

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Don

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Don

This week in our Frontline Fridays feature – where we pay tribute to Grand Erie essential workers in the communities of Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk – we talk to Don Jagoe, IT Business Owner of My Tech Geeks based in Brantford.

What does an average day look like for you?

Don: Working in the information technology service industry generally results in a dynamic workday largely spent communicating with clients and servicing their needs. A big part of the job is being responsive to the customer. A phone call, email or text can throw your schedule out the window and change the priority of work to be completed on any given day.

Normally, I start work around 6:30am. I review remote management software that provides a dashboard of information such as backup status and potential issues on servers or computers that I support and monitor. I check to ensure servers are online, backups were successful and completed antivirus scans found no infections. I also look at other stats such as hard drives running low on space or showing early signs of failure. If anything is concerning, I then remote into the server or computer, take the appropriate action and notify people if necessary.

What has it been like to be an essential worker during the pandemic?

Don: Covid-19 has introduced more steps into regular procedures of onsite work. Much more work is now done remotely over the Internet, but when work cannot be completed remotely, I go onsite. Like everyone, when travelling to sites such as medical sites, I now text to let the office know I have arrived, complete a screening questionnaire, have my temperature taken and use hand sanitizer. I wear a mask and disposable rubber gloves when working with medical equipment. At non-medical sites, I generally bring a portable keyboard and mouse. Devices are wiped down with alcohol based disinfecting wipes.

What have been the greatest rewards and challenges in your work?

Don: Shortly after the pandemic started there was a huge demand to get businesses set up quickly so that staff could work from home. There were many nights of little to no sleep to get everyone set up as the requests came in. Technology and computers have become more essential for people working or studying from home. Like others in the information technology service sector, I often attempt to address non-urgent issues when computers are not in use during lunch, dinner, or at night when the user is no longer using the computer.

I always take great pride in my work and customer satisfaction and my reward is a job well done. Ideally, servers or computers on a remotely managed service plan see little to no downtime. Sometimes it may seem as though IT staff are never around or not working, but in reality that usually means a job well done in identifying and fixing issues before they are reported!

What have been your greatest supports and means of coping as an essential worker this past year?

Don: Some of my greatest supports come from communicating with other people in my field. I often communicate with IT people all over North America. I find it comforting to hear what other people are experiencing and how they are coping.

What made you pursue your career? What lead you to take a job in this community? 

Don: I got bit by the tech bug at a young age. Initially I used my computer to play games, but I soon started programming, building websites and computers and helping others with technology. I read everything I could about computers and IT and eventually studied for the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and for the Microsoft Certified Professional accreditation.

When I worked for the University of Prince Edward Island, I also obtained a BA, and later a BSc. I married someone I met there and moved to Brantford when my wife accepted a job in Ontario. Since then, my path included working my way up to service delivery manager and managing tech support call centre contracts for fortune 100 companies. Eventually, I started my own small IT company – My Tech Geeks (www.mytechgeeks.ca)

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing your career?

Don: My advice for anyone looking to get into the IT service field today would be to learn technical skills in any of a number of ways. A good starting point would be to obtain Comptia certification (https://www.comptia.org/faq/a/what-is-comptia-a-certification). Additionally, there are lots of advanced certificates such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/). Many companies look at an equivalent of education and experience when hiring. My advice is to start in an entry level tech position and work your way up.

Thank you to Don for sharing his story and for all his efforts in helping clients stay connected and continue their work.

Local Training and Certification for careers like Don’s:

For High School Students:

CanHack Challenge | The DMZ (ryerson.ca)

Conestoga College:

Computer Systems Technician – Information Technology Infrastructure and Services (Optional Co-op) | Full-time | Ontario College Diploma (conestogac.on.ca)

Information Technology Infrastructure | Full-time | Graduate Certificate (conestogac.on.ca)

Information Technology Network Security | Full-time | Graduate Certificate (conestogac.on.ca)

Westervelt College:

IT Technician – Westervelt College

Fanshawe College:

School of Information Technology | Fanshawe College

Computer Systems Technician | Fanshawe College

Mohawk College:

Computer Systems Technology – Network Engineering and Security Analyst – 555 | Mohawk College

Ontario Colleges:

Computer – Security | ontariocolleges.ca

Laurier University:

Computer Science (BSc), Waterloo | Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Master of Applied Computing (MAC) | Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca) 

Business Technology Management (BBTM) | Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Statistics Canada Occupational Classification:

NOC 2011 – 2281 – Computer network technicians – Unit group (statcan.gc.ca)

Search Local IT Jobs:

Grand Erie Jobs

NOC 2011 – 2282 – User support technicians – Unit group (statcan.gc.ca)  

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Kate

Celebrating Grand Erie’s Essential Workers – Kate

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie is paying tribute to essential workers in our community. Today in our Frontline Fridays feature we talk to Kate Wight (shown at left in photo) who works as a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant at the John Noble Home, a long term care facility in Brantford. Visit: John Noble Home (jnh.ca)

Thank you to all our essential workers who have helped us cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

What does an average day look like for you?

Kate: Working in the Recreation Department at John Noble Home in Brantford, my typical day starts with reviewing reports from the last shift and making sure that I have all my supplies and equipment ready to go to run my day smoothly.  I connect with our team before starting my daily Therapeutic Recreation (TR) programs. Our programs improve our residents’ quality of life physically, emotionally, and socially by helping them engage in recreational activities. Normally these activities may include arts and crafts, music, dance, sports, theatre, games, and community outings.

When I am not providing TR programs, I work on our monthly calendars, planning meaningful programs for the residents and completing assessments. Recreation assists with both annual and admission care conferences for each resident in the home.  Each day, we must be sure that proper documentation is inputted by the end of our shift.

What has it been like to be an essential worker during the pandemic?

Kate: Being an essential worker during the pandemic has helped me become more flexible and adaptable in my daily routine. I believe learning to adapt to change is key to success in my work.

During the pandemic our daily program calendar has shifted to either small group programs or “one to one” visits. Under current Ministry guidelines, only essential caregivers are coming into the home, we have our own designated area and assist with bringing together residents with their loved ones virtually through Skype and Facetime. This has proven to be a meaningful connection during these unprecedented times and it has been great for getting to know each resident and their families more closely/intimately.  We encourage families to send letters or pictures through our home’s email as well.

What made you pursue your career? What lead you to take a job in this community? 

Kate: 5 years ago I made a mid-life career change. I attained a diploma in Recreation and Leisure Services and Recreation Therapy from Canadore College.  I volunteered at the Willet Hospital and did my placements at various local long term care homes including John Noble Home, where I have been employed since 2019. I pursued this career because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and support seniors in my community. Brant has always been my community and I wanted to give back in a positive way.

What have been the greatest rewards and challenges in your work?

Kate: Being a recent grad and coming into the field in the middle of a pandemic has been a challenge. It looks different from the way our job/role would look like pre-pandemic. The big reward this past year has been feeling like I am making a meaningful contribution during these uncertain times and knowing I am making a difference in the residents’ lives by engaging and providing comfort to both residents and families.

What have been your greatest supports and means of coping as an essential worker this past year?

Kate: My greatest support as an essential worker this past year has been having a strong peer base and knowing that we have a great supportive team as we navigate through this together.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing your career? 

Kate: My advice to someone interested in pursuing this type of career would be to spend some time volunteering in a few different settings – retirement homes, day programs, long term care facilities or hospitals – to learn what would be a good fit for you. All these environments are fulfilling and rewarding in their own unique way.

Thank you to Kate for sharing her story and the staff of John Noble Home for all the tremendous work they do each day.

Local Training and Certification for careers like Kate’s:

Conestoga College:

Personal Support Worker | Full-time | Ontario College Certificate (conestogac.on.ca)

Mohawk College:

SkillsAdvance Ontario: Personal Support Worker Training – HSCI 10188, CRED 10148 | Mohawk College

Recreation Therapy – 283 | Mohawk College

Fanshawe College:

Gerontology – Interprofessional Practice | Fanshawe College

Skills2Work | CCES Fanshawe College

Six Nations Polytechnic:

Personal Support Worker (110) | Six Nations Polytechnic (snpolytechnic.com)

final_rct_instructor_posting_2018_brantford_campus_0.pdf (snpolytechnic.com)

Statistics Canada Occupational Classification:

NOC 2011 – 3144 – Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment – Unit group (statcan.gc.ca) 

Search Local Long Term Care Jobs:

Grand Erie Jobs

 

In-demand jobs in Grand Erie

In-demand jobs in Grand Erie

In-demand jobs tells us what employers are hiring for.

Material handler was the top job in demand from Grand Erie area employers in the last half of 2020.

There were more than 1,000 job postings for material handlers on the Workforce Planning Board’s job search site Grand Erie Jobs from July to December last year.

Other in-demand jobs businesses have been hiring for most frequently include farm worker, home support worker, retail salesperson and delivery driver, but there has been strong demand for people with a wide variety of skills and education.

·         Top professional and managerial positions: registered nurses, retail trade managers and financial officers.

·         Top technical and skilled occupations: practical nurses, dental assistants, social workers, teacher assistants and cooks.

·         Top labouring occupations: construction labourers, light duty cleaners, janitors, and food counter attendants.

Many jobs are stepping stones to higher skilled positions, with employees going back to school or taking advantage of training programs offered by their employer. Some employers help pay for tuition.

Material handlers typically work in the warehouses or distribution centres of stores and manufacturers. They load, unload and move material or products, either by hand or by using machines such as forklifts. Work may include counting and packing material to fill orders, then putting them on trucks.

With an increase in online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a jump in hiring in area warehouses. There are companies that hire material handlers in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties and on Six Nations.

Working as a material handler would suit many people, from young workers who are starting off to older workers returning to the job market or wanting to change careers.

There’s a free job training program in Brantford called Skills2Advance that trains people for work in the manufacturing and warehousing industry in jobs such as material handling.

Participants get in-class and hands-on experience, gaining their forklift and reach truck certification, and get a paid placement with a local business. To find out more, visit the Skills2Advance website.

Here’s a rundown on the other Top-5 in demand jobs locally, with the number of postings over a six-month period:

General Farm Worker: 803 jobs. Farmers have been encouraging local residents to work in agriculture, emphasizing the important work farm workers do to keep Canadians fed. The work can appeal to people who like to work outdoors or with livestock and have a strong work ethic.

Retail Salesperson: 593 jobs. Businesses are always looking for staff who have good people and customer service skills, while many salespeople are attracted to flexible hours.

Home Support Worker: 588 jobs. Personal Support Workers (PSW) make up the majority of jobs. PSWs work in nursing homes, private homes and other facilities, helping care for people . The wages appear to be increasing.

There are a number of routes to become a home support worker, including a job training program offered by CareerLink in Brantford and college programs offered by Six Nations Polytechnic, Conestoga College and Fanshawe College’s Simcoe campus. Some offer “fast track” programs, so that becoming a PSW takes less time than in the past.

Workers who have been laid off may be eligible for government money, through a program called Second Career, to go back to school to become a PSW.

Delivery Drivers & Couriers: 311 jobs. Thanks to an increase in online shopping, there’s a steady demand for people to work as delivery drivers.

There has long been a strong demand for nurses and that is expected to continue in the next many years. That is also true for transport truck drivers, as many drivers are retiring.

To find out more information on 500 different occupations, including typical wages, check out the Career Explorer tool on Grand Erie Jobs.

 

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