City strug­gling to find skilled work­ers

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - Jennifer Hamil­ton- Mccharles

The City of North Bay is strug­gling to keep its skilled work­ers.

Dur­ing a me­dia tour Thurs­day morn­ing of the city’s pub­lic works depart­ment on Franklin Street, re­porters heard the frus­tra­tion from man­agers who are try­ing to fill va­cant po­si­tions.

John Ouel­lette, fleet man­ager for the city, said North Bay has lost sev­eral me­chan­ics over the past few years.

He said those em­ploy­ees who left are now work­ing for the pri­vate sec­tor, in­clud­ing some who left the area to work in min­ing.

Ouel­lette said there are cur­rently five open­ings.

“I am in­ter­view­ing three peo­ple this af­ter­noon,” he said.

Mayor Al Mcdon­ald said the city is con­stantly look­ing for welders and painters.

“We’re hav­ing a tough time find­ing those skilled trades. We’re strug­gling to at­tract peo­ple to come and work for the city.”

Mcdon­ald said part­ner­ships with Canadore Col­lege and Nipiss­ing Univer­sity are key and needed in or­der to at­tract qual­i­fied staff.

“The pri­vate sec­tor is now pay­ing more than the city for these in­di­vid­u­als and we’re los­ing some of those skilled trades.”

Ac­cord­ing to On­tar­i­o­col­leges. ca, there are thou­sands of avail­able skilled jobs through­out the prov­ince.

“With nearly half of the work­force el­i­gi­ble to re­tire in the com­ing years, the de­mand for trades work­ers has never been higher. In the con­struc­tion trades alone, over 200,000 jobs will need to be filled over the next decade by smart, skilled peo­ple,” ac­cord­ing to the col­leges’ web­site.

Jennifer Hamil­ton- Mccharles / The Nugget

The City of North Bay is hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties fill­ing va­cant skilled trades po­si­tions va­cated by peo­ple who left to pur­sue op­por­tu­ni­ties in the pri­vate sec­tor.

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