March 2, 2023 (Burnaby, BC) – A recent career fair held at Byrne Creek Community School had the typical feel associated with that of a well-attended and productive networking event, yet it was a genuine display of community engagement that resonated most with Construction Foundation of BC’s Rene Ragetli at day’s end.
Ragetli, CFBC’s Director of Project Operations, coordinated February’s event in collaboration with Byrne Creek Community School, welcoming 17 employers and 150 attendees. Students and adults were on-site throughout the afternoon and evening to meet with prospective employers and to discuss career opportunities.
“The Byrne Creek event was a little different from the fairs where you can have a sit-down with folks who come down in a class,” explained Ragetli. “This one was similar to a typical career fair, quite loud in the atrium of a new school but there was great energy in the room.”
While successful connections were made during the fair between attendees and employers, it was the non-traditional interactions that caught the eye of Ragetli at Byrne Creek.
“What stands out in my mind from this event was the trio of employers who were all packed and ready to go at the end of the day. We had some adults trickling in late to the fair and these three stopped what they were doing and engaged in conversations with these adults. They didn’t just hand these people pamphlets and say ‘Call me,’ I literally saw them having a conversation in the parking lot.
“Here were three professionals who were really dedicated to connecting with people, whether they were a ‘key hire’ or not. It was very touching to see that humanity and professional commitment.”
Ragetli also acknowledged the collaborative approach being brought to the job fairs by attending employers and their approach to not just searching for their next hire, but recognizing the importance of connecting with youth and finding out where they were at in their job searches.
“Meaningful engagement can only happen with that broad view of connecting,” added Ragetli. “Steve Cook from Byrne Creek jumped at the chance to open this fair to adults. There are parents and siblings looking for better job opportunities. People talk about these networking events—even the employers at our fairs are getting to know each other. It’s been neat to see them co-operating and the crossover between them.
“Lots of good things flow from these events.”
For more information on the work being done by the Construction Foundation of BC and to donate, please visit www.constructionfoundation.ca.
The CFBC builds community through charitable initiatives and a commitment to industry-focused education and research that benefits all British Columbians. The Foundation’s fundraising campaigns have raised millions of dollars since its inception in 2012, outfitting British Columbia shop classes with new equipment, providing driver training to youth in and from care, connecting educators with professional development opportunities, awarding young people with bursaries to continue their trades education, and providing much-needed support to educational programs.