Southwest Ring Road job fair attracts more than 1,000
Completion of the $1.42-billion highway project slated for 2021
With construction of the Southwest Ring Road set to begin later this month, contractors have begun looking for crews to do the work.
A job fair Saturday at the Delta Calgary South Hotel attracted more than 1,000 hoping to secure one of around 300 jobs.
At 68 years old, Alma Winger was the first to arrive.
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"I was here at 2 a.m.," she said with a smile. "But when you want something bad enough, you get here early enough."
She hopes to be a flagger or a safety co-ordinator on the $1.42-billion build running from Highway 8 (Glenmore Trail) to Macleod Trail S.W.
"There's not a heck of a lot [of jobs] right now, but it's going to pick up," said Winger. "It's unbelievable to see how many people are actually out of work. I'm just hoping there's going to be a turnaround soon, and with this ring road, I'm sure there will be."
Officials were looking to hire heavy equipment operators, traffic controllers, craft labourers and other construction positions on Saturday.
Paul Morin, 50, drove from Enoch Cree Nation near Edmonton hoping to get hired as a heavy equipment operator or driver.
"It's all about competition, it's all about who can do the job and if you can talk a good game," he said.
"If they're looking for one certain thing like a good grader operator, maybe I get looked at."
For Michael Foster, a job is a must-have. He's been out of work for three years.
"Some of my bills have been falling behind and that so, I've been trying to do what I can to keep them paid," he said.
Construction on the southwest portion of the ring road is scheduled to begin later this month and the project is slated for completion in 2021.
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With files from Terri Trembath