With the major downturn in the economy, many Albertans have been left in search of employment.

Rocky View and Wheatland Employment Services (RWES) has seen an increase in the demand for their wide range of employment-related services that are offered free of charge for both job seekers and employers.

"At this point, we've been able to support thousands of Albertans, not just in Cochrane, but Airdrie, Strathmore,  Carstairs, Chestermere, and all of Rocky View County," explains Abigail Gonzalez, RWES program manager. "We've been very successful at transitioning professionals and entry-level Albertans to be able to attach back to the workforce."

Several sectors have been heavily impacted by the economic drop-off.

"It has really impacted negatively on all industries, not only service industries, so we're really trying to grab those skills and attach Albertans to full-time employment, and we've continued to have success stories month-after-month."

She said there's about a 50-50 per cent split between those seeking work and additional training in their current field, and those striking out in a new direction. 

RWES can also recommend people for Exposure course funding that's offered by the Alberta government. Eligible people can receive funding for short-term courses to assist them in obtaining certifications and/or job-specific skills.

"It's short-term funding. so it cannot exceed a certain amount of dollars, but we've had great success with that as well."

Rocky View Employment Services is once again teaming up with Cochrane Business Development to offer a job fair for Cochrane area residents on Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For the first time, it will be a virtual event but will continue to connect area employers with job seekers, offer workshops, as well as provide resume critiquing. After logging in, participants are greeted in a virtual reception area, where they are redirected to workshops or a private room for an interview with a potential employer.

She says this large job fair is a win-win situation for both employers and job seekers.

"It is a great opportunity for the employers because it cuts down on their recruitment time. It's a lot better than reading through maybe hundreds of applications. So, it really services the employer, and it services the job seeker."

Gonzalez says they've held a similar large virtual event in Airdrie and for specific employers, like Amazon and Rocky View Schools.

So far, 18 employers have confirmed their attendance at the Cochrane job fair, and there may be more confirmed as the date draws closer.

To prepare your resume, get advice on what to expect at the job fair, or other job-related assistance, contact Rocky View and Wheatland Employment Services at 403-836-5305.

You can also register here

For more details on the services of GWES, go here