Powell River’s Economy – Ahead of the Curve

Coastal Chronciles: Click here to download the pdf

The Summer 2011 issue of the magazine Coastal Chronicles is here fresh from the printers, and provides local perspectives on the unique economies and business trends in Powell River and four coastal regions on Vancouver Island. 

Led by a team from Career Link, each region’s local employment services agency has provided an update on where things stand today and what is on the horizon.  The new issue features local employers, along with great labour market information (LMI).

So what’s the scoop for the ‘Pearl on the Sunshine Coast’? Reinvention and innovation. Featured in the 2011 issue’s Powell River section (pages 14-16) are items on the Catalyst mill, which has recently been hiring “to sustain and renew” their workforce levels as people retire, and to feed the demand for their specialty papers.

Another section on Silke’s Organic Market describes how co-owner Volker Pfeifer has provided greater shopping convenience at their new location that offers more parking,  in addition to fresher produce that he transports from local producers and from the Okanagan.

Vancouver Island University’s Powell River Campus has also increased its Trades Programs, while working with students while they are still in high school, where they may receive post-secondary credits. On the ESL front, Camber College has continued to grow and expand its online presence, despite the economic slow-down, and despite the changes in immigration laws that now require Mexican students to carry a visa.

There’s much more information packed into the 20-page guide that describes the employment picture in BC’s coastal communities of Courtenay-Comox, Campbell River, Parksville area, and Port Alberni. Download the entire guide  (5.56 MB) as an Adobe Acrobat file.

Powell River’s June Jobs Report – Opening Doors

Information Opens Doors

It’s time to report on Powell River’s June Labour Market. There is good news out there and we’d like to share with you where we saw the open doors to employment this month.  If you found work recently, let us know! Share your comments on this post.    

In June 2011, BC’s unemployment rate dropped a further 0.3 percentage points to 7.3% in June.  In our region (Vancouver Island & Coast) the unemployment rate inched downward by 0.4 percentage points this month, resulting in the current unemployment rate of 7.7%. This rate tells us that employers can afford to be choosy and specific in their requirements, and that job seekers need to make every effort to stand out in the crowd as the best candidate for the job. You don’t need to tackle it all on your own though— at Career Link, both our job-seeker and employer services are free and are offered in a variety of formats to choose from.

And now for the Career Link numbers:

  • Powell River employers have posted 277 free job postings with us this year
  • This is up by 72 postings from this time last year
  • Kudos to 72 clients who attained employment in June!
  • In fact, at press time, we are now at 360 employed clients this year, which is 59 more employed clients than at this time last year

Could this be evidence of a recovery? We can take a closer look at that question…

Certainly in the Forestry Sector we are seeing an increase in coastal logging, and therefore hiring. The average wage for skilled jobs in this sector is $30.00 per hour. As long as our cool, wet summer weather holds, they shouldn’t be slowing down for fire season for a while yet.

Thankfully, more of our construction labourers are finding work. This Spring the Kelowna-based Maple Reinders, hired a number of local labourers and they are building a concrete reservoir and UV treatment facility as part of Powell River’s upgrade of its drinking water system. The City of Powell River is hoping to add to their casual relief public works labourer pool and School District 47 just advertised seeking on-call casual Trades/Maintenance Workers. Preference given to applicants with a Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter or Electrician ticket.

If you are still at the stage where you need to add to your construction work experience, at this time of year we regularly have a number of casual jobs where local individuals are seeking handy persons for projects around their houses such as floor laying, deck building and general construction site assistance. The pay is not as great, but on the flip side the work is short-term so you can keep looking for better work, the jobs add to your resume and you may get a reference or job lead while on the job. 

In the healthcare and social services fields we noted an upswing in the number of job postings for relief work because summer is the time of year where full-time caregivers take their holidays to refresh their batteries. As a group home manager at Cherry Doors Ltd. explained to us, they expect to see an upswing again around the busy holiday season and furthermore getting yourself on an employer’s relief worker call list is a great way to get your foot in the door. 

A solid Office Administrator is an integral part of many businesses.  Two local employers Drake Medox Health Services and the Powell River Optometry Clinic are currently searching for that position.

In other news, our First Credit Union recently hired a couple additional staff members, and two major banks are still looking for casual customer service representatives. We keep seeing jobs pop up in our restaurants and hotels, which is good news if you haven’t secured a summer job yet.  And for the savvy person who is thinking ahead to the Fall,  we just posted a job for the Powell River Curling Club seeking a Bar Manager for their six month season.

For those looking for a part-time but longer term contract, a project they can start from the ground up, The Powell River Diversity Initiative is seeking both a Project Coordinator and Assistant to create and lead an educational event called “Diversity Day Camp” scheduled for 2012.

And there is news afloat that our Aquaculture industry continues to grow, as land clearing has started in order to build a new hatchery at a mariculture license in Okeover.

Our eagle eyes are tweeting every single job we hear about – you can can follow us on Twitter @careerlinkbc. Remember, you don’t need to tweet about your own life to follow our job news.  

To be informed about Powell River’s unique labour market either to hire or find employment, Career Link would be pleased to work with you! You can drop by our offices on Marine Ave, give us a call at 604.485.7958 or email us at yourteam@careerlinkbc.com and we can help you get started. We also encourage you to subscribe to this blog.


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