A job fair in Fredericton hosted by 11 oilsands companies in Fredericton drew a bigger crowd than organizers imagined.

They began lining up at the Delta Fredericton three hours before the job fair opened, armed with their resumes and ready to head west.

"I am looking for a better and bigger, steadier job and if I have to go into heavy equipment I will. I will do whatever they want me to do," said Murray Crain, from Beechwood.

"No work. I had to go overseas, I was in New Zealand for five years for a couple of years just trying to find something," said Jordan Hayes from Miramichi.

It wasn’t just New Brunswickers who showed up.

"Anything. Labour. Anything really," said Kyle York, from Pictou, Nova Scotia. "I did some forestry work before, just any labour work really.

By noon, there were more than 1,000 people there.

Organizers began giving out water to fend off Thursday’s hot temperatures.

The line wound through the hotel, with about 80 people at a time allowed into the exhibits, and it continued outside all the way to the parking lot.

Inside, representatives of the companies, from across Alberta, listened and took resumes.

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There were 11 companies from all over Alberta talking to people and accepting resumes. (Susan King/CBC)

Cervus Equipment is ready to hire 40 workers right now, and 100 more next year.

Some people criticized the government for forcing the large crowd to look for work out of province.

In the small village of McAdam, with a population of just under 1,300, residents have tracked at least 83 people who have left for work in Fort McMurray, Alta., this year.

Others said they were optimistic after leaving the fair.

"I think there’s going to be a couple callbacks, I talked to some people and got some good information I guess," said Tyrel Bustard from Woodstock.