Windsor

Henry Ford Hospital job fair in Windsor a hit at Caboto Club

Registered nurses (RNs) looking for were flocking to the Caboto Club on Wednesday, where The Henry Ford Health System, based in Detroit, is holding a job fair until 7 p.m.
With Windsor's high unemployment rate and the low Canadian dollar, it's perhaps not surprising Windsor registered nurses are showing interest in crossing the border for work in Detroit. 1:51

Go north, young man — or woman? With Windsor's high unemployment rate and the low Canadian dollar, it's perhaps not surprising local registered nurses are showing interest in crossing the border for work in Detroit.

Registered nurses (RNs) looking for work were flocking to the Caboto Club on Wednesday, where The Henry Ford Health System, based in Detroit, held a job fair.

Sarah Klingbyle, a recent University of Windsor graduate and new registered nurse, at the Henry Ford Health System job fair at the Caboto Club on July 29. (Nathan Swinn)

About 50 people were at the club Wednesday morning to find out more. Among those interested was recent University of Windsor graduate and new RN, Sarah Klingbyle. Henry Ford is aiming to hire about 75 nurses from Canada, said Gwen Gnam, the chief nursing officer and vice-president of patient care services at Henry Ford Hospital. 

Klingbyle told CBC News she applied to jobs on this side of the border, but has struck out so far and is very open to crossing the border for work.

"It's kind of hard to get a job in Windsor," said the new grad. "I found that people are going to be moving away because Windsor doesn't have that much."

While that may not be good news for Windsor, it's great news for Detroit, which is need of more RNs.

"We simply don't have have enough RNs in the metropolitan Detroit area to meet our needs," Gnam said in an interview with CBC's Windsor Morning. "We've had good success with Canadian nurses in the past."

The majority of the positions offer 36 hours of work per week, comprising of three 12-hour shifts. Job openings are welcome news for residents of Windsor, where the unemployment rate was at 8.9 per cent in June.

Another possible lure for Windsorites could be the high American dollar, which is currently about 30 cents higher than the Canadian dollar.

Roadblocks

Currently, about 10 per cent of nurses with Henry Ford are Canadians who have a short commute over the border, according to the job ad. 

Gnam said they have plans in place to advise staff when there are back-ups at the border. The Henry Ford Hospital is about 10 kilometres north of downtown Windsor.

Before Canadian nurses can work in the U.S., a valid Visa Screen certificate is needed upon the start of employment. Henry Ford, one of the largest and most comprehensive integrated health care systems in the U.S., will have an immigration attorney on site today in Windsor to help interested applicants through that process, noted Gnam.

It takes up to four months to be approved to work in the U.S.

With files from Windsor Morning and Nathan Swinn

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