Stoney Nation workers eyed to address labour shortage in Banff
Banff and Lake Louise Hospitality Association hopes nearby First Nation can help fill hundreds of positions
A new program is connecting workers from the Stoney Nation with hard-to-fill hospitality jobs in Banff and Lake Louise.
"We recognized the acute labour shortage in Banff, and are just working to address that," said project coordinator Preston Twoyoungmen.
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He called the program a "no-brainer" because hundreds of Stoney First Nation members are looking for work, and companies operating out of the national park need hundreds of kitchen and housekeeping staff during peak season.
"I think there's quite a number of people out there that have been waiting for this opportunity, waiting for an opportunity similar to this, and in some ways probably an answer to their prayers," said Twoyoungmen.
Six people from Morley have been hired in Banff so far under the program and Twoyoungmen hopes to see that number grow significantly over the next few years.
So too, does Trevor Long, general manager at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff.
"We have hundreds of jobs available," he said.
"If we had a workforce from Morley coming in to fill up a bus load everyday, if you had in the 40 to 50 people range, I think that would be a great success."
Long, who is also the president of the Banff and Lake Louise Hospitality Association, has already hired a woman from Morley to work as a housekeeper at his hotel.
"It seems to be a perfect fit, because we're really looking to fill our need positions during need time of the year," he said.
"And I know that Morley residents are looking for employment."