The City of Williams Lake is hoping to hire a community coordinator for an 18-month term as the City grapples with finding employees.
Council ratified on Tuesday a poll conducted last month authorizing submission of an application to the BC Rural Dividend Fund for the Williams Lake International Hiring and Entrepreneur Attraction Initiative.
Mayor Walt Cobb says that part of it came from a recent visit with the Federal Immigration liaison and the Provincial Nominee Program that indicated a shortage of workers in all industry.
“The discussion was around looking at international students or bringing over foreign workers, but there’s lots of opportunity for workers in Canada and other places,” Cobb said.
“This information that we’re gathering will give industry an opportunity and places they can go where they can look at hiring their needs.”
Cobb adds that while he is not certain why Williams Lake is having difficulty in finding employees, they were told that the issue is not limited to Williams Lake and is being experienced across the province.
“It’s surprising when they’re paying $30 bucks an hour,” he says.
“Even the City here we’ve had job descriptions out for the pool and other areas and we can’t find employees but it’s not just here.”
If successful for the $127,090 through the BC Rural Dividend, the community coordinator would provide support to the community including but not limited to employer information and assistance to encourage seeking skilled workers through the available Federal and Provincial Immigration Programs.
Cobb says if not successful, he believes that the City’s Economic Development Officer will be doing some of that work anyways.
“When they did that round-table discussion they had here that was the thing that was identified very strongly. Not only did we have a shortage of workers but we had a shortage of places for people to live so those are two things that can come out of the work that was done through the Economic Development Corporation.”