2023 Workforce Conference & Job Fair presented by Venture Kamloops


Join us for the 2nd Annual Workforce Conference and Job Fair on Thursday, September 28 and Friday, September 29, presented by Venture Kamloops. This event is brought to you by Venture Kamloops, Work BC Kamloops-Thompson and The Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce.

The intention of this event is to showcase local, provincial, national and international resources to help employers with their recruitment efforts, in addition to providing meaningful learning opportunities to support employee retention.

The first day of the event will be employer-focused and will help employers to understand the current Kamloops and area labour market. The second day will feature a job fair that is job seeker-focused, and we encourage every job seeker in the community to attend this free event. The job fair will give employers the opportunity to connect directly with potential candidates to fill vacant positions.

This event is presented by:


Thursday, September 28 | Workforce Conference

  • 7:30 am – 8:00am – Registration & Breakfast
  • 8:00am – 9:00am – Welcome, Land Acknowledgement, Keynote Presentation
  • 9:15am – 10:15am – Break out session #1
  • 10:30am – 11:30am – Break out session #2
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch, Presentation, Keynote Presentation
  • 1:15pm – 2:15pm – Break out session #3
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm – Break out session #4
  • 3:45pm – 4:30pm – Wrap Up, Closing Remarks, Networking

Breakout sessions include:

  • Accessing Global Talent
  • Partnering with Indigenous Nations
  • Welcoming Newcomers
  • Working with Thompson Rivers University to Source Talent
  • Open Door Group Resources and Talent
  • Construction and Trades Hiring Resources

Keynote Sponsor

Job Fair Sponsor

Industry Sponsor


Friday, September 29 | Job Fair

  • 9:00am – 2:00pm – Job Fair 

Job Fair Employers:


Thursday speakers

Breakfast Keynote – Dr. Matt Ayres

Dr. Matt Ayres is the Chief Labour Market Economist with the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. Matt heads up the Labour Market Information, Reporting and Evaluation Branch, which consists of three teams.  One team is dedicated to forecasting labour market trends (including work on the BC Labour Market Outlook) and produces a 10-year labour market outlook for BC.  A second group focuses on current labour market information and immigration analysis.  The third team focuses on reporting and evaluation for the Ministries’ skills training programs. Matt has over 30 years of experience working as an economist in various government, government agencies, consulting and academic roles.


Lunch Keynote – Ashraf Amlani

Ash Amlani is the Principal and co-founder of BUNYAAD Public Affairs, an award-winning firm based in North Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territory. Ash and her co-founder Sherri Moore-Arbour started BUNYAAD following decades of work in public health, education, strategic communication, and public affairs. BUNYAAD means Foundation in Urdu; at BUNYAAD we work with clients to build the foundations of a healthy, more inclusive society. BUNYAAD is proud to support the BC Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to “Address the Labour Market Gap”.

Ash will be facilitating this session that will share key findings to date in the Addressing the Labour Market Gap, and she will be asking you to dive a little deeper and begin exploring practical solutions.


Wondering what each breakout session will be? See below for information about each speaker and organization. You’ll get the opportunity to choose which break out sessions you attend.


Accessing International Workers Through Immigration 

Andrew Kemp, Engagement Specialist, BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Ministry of Municipal Affairs 

Andrew Kemp is the Engagement Specialist for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).  In his role, Andrew is responsible for supporting and building alliances with program stakeholders, promoting and marketing BC PNP and supporting new program development. 

Learn how businesses can access federal and provincial immigration programs to hire international talent. 

Darcy Bromley, Outreach Officer, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

What will be covered? 

  • How to use provincial and federal economic immigration programs to attract and retain international employees 
  • Explanation of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) and federal immigration program criteria and processes, including Express Entry 
  • Question and answer session with provincial and federal government staff, with program expertise 

Partnering with Indigenous Nations

Jordann Hazelwood – HR, Employment & Training Coordinator, Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwe̓pemc Nation (SSN)

Jordann Hazelwood is a member of Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc and the HR, Employment & Training Coordinator for the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwe̓pemc Nation (SSN), representing Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc and Skeetchestn Indian Band. She has spent the last 8 years breaking down barriers and advancing Indigenous People in mining and oil & gas in the Kamloops region, and creating culturally safe, impactful and inclusive working environments.

Jordann will be sharing areas to consider when recruiting and building an Indigenous workforce, effective retention strategies and the work your organization can do today to create space for Indigenous employees.

Juanita Soles – Aboriginal Training & Employment Centre (ATEC) and Aboriginal Skills, Employment and Training (ASETS)

ASETS provides employment services to unemployed & under Employed Indigenous people who reside in our catchment.

ASETS Programs include Targeted Wage Subsidy, Direct Purchase, Summer Student, Job Starts.

Juanita will be sharing information about ASETS programs and how employers can recruit through their channels.  She will share information about targeted wage subsidies, the summer student program and Job Starts 


Welcoming Newcomers

Amy Verhey – Employer Advisor, Kamloops Immigrant Services

About us – KIS: 

Kamloops Immigrant Services (KIS) is a leader in the settlement sector devoted to welcoming immigrants to Kamloops and the surrounding areas. Our primary goal is to support newcomers through integration services in settlement, language, employment, and community connections. Our secondary goal is to inform and sensitize the region on immigration, settlement, and integration and to promote eliminating racism. No matter where newcomers are in their journey, our settlement centre is here to empower and support them every step of the way, making their transition to life in Canada as smooth and enriching as possible. 

JY Lee – Youth Employment Advisor, Kamloops Immigrant Services 

Our Session: 

Discover the benefits of our Employment Engagement program, where our Employer Advisor facilitates meaningful connections with highly talented newcomers. Gain valuable insights into current newcomer trends and get equipped with no-cost recruitment tools, and enriching training materials, all designed to empower your business. Our extensive support spans inclusive hiring, recruiting, and onboarding, and the cultivation of newcomer employee longevity. 


Working with Thompson Rivers University to Source Talent

Jamie Noakes – TRU Career & Experiential Learning Department

The Career & Experiential Learning department at Thompson Rivers University has a long-standing history of providing experiential and work-integrated learning opportunities for students.  Through experiences like co-op, field placements, graduate recruitment, community service learning and part-time recruitment, we work with employers to develop these opportunities for students. 

Access to talent is becoming increasingly competitive and this presentation detail how the TRU Career & Experiential Learning Department will assist employers with recruitment of current and graduating students at TRU.  The presentation will focus on CEL department initiatives, access to students, how to post positions, strategies to become an employer of choice with students,  participate in events virtually and on campus, and current recruitment trends.  


Accessibility, Recruitment and Retention in 2023

Christine Buchanan, Regional Director of Employment and Training, Open Door Group

This session will show you the services and the supports available to help you with developing your accessibility plans, addressing your recruitment needs and assisting with retaining employees.

Open Door Group‘s free customized employer services can help connect businesses and industries of all sizes to the talent they need, from urban centres to rural communities. Whether you’re a small business trying to make your HR budget go further, a large business trying to improve workplace diversity, or anything in between, our team creates customized solutions to fit your needs. www.opendoorgroup.org


Construction and Trades Hiring Resources

Heather Hamilton – TRU Trades and Construction 

Thompson Rivers University, School of Trades and Technology – Community Education and Workforce Development.  Employers throughout North America are experiencing skills shortages.

TRU School of Trades and Technology offers some ideas and information about funding to help local employers lighten the load and build the workforce that they need. 

Natalie Durham – The BC Construction Association – Integrating Newcomers (BCCA-IN) 

The British Columbia Construction Association – Integrating Newcomers (BCCA-IN) program is dedicated to solving the skilled workforce shortage challenges of Canada’s construction industry. Funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the initiative provides free pre-arrival services to highly skilled immigrants committed to starting or continuing careers in the construction industry.  The program builds connections between employers, skilled workers, and professional associations to make the construction industry stronger. From engineering, design, estimation, project management, and architecture to procurement, technology, operations, support services, and the skilled trades. The scope of services is designed to build the best outcome for the construction industry, economy, and community.  

EMPLOYER SERVICES BCCA-IN also provides first access to highly skilled immigrants committed to careers in the construction industry. Best of all, the service is completely FREE.

Afra Nazeer – Regional Employment Placement Specialist ( Thompson Nicola Region / Kamloops ) – Skilled Trades Employment Program (BCCA) 

BCCA has several workforce development programs available; the ones most valuable to employers are STEP, Apprenticeship Services, Builders Code, and Integrated Newcomers. 

STEP: Since 2006, the Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) has focused on finding motivated candidates for construction employers with jobs to fill in British Columbia. 

Job seeker support: The British Columbia Construction Association’s STEP is a no-fee program aimed at helping job seekers find employment and apprenticeships within the construction industry and skilled trades. Some supports include Resume, job search techniques, interview skills coaching, etc. 

Employer support: we support employers in recruiting and assessing job seekers on behalf of employers, preparing them for job interviews, matching them with suitable employer companies, and following up with them, and when possible/necessary, their employers, for at least three months post placement to ensure success. STEP can help employers find entry-level and 1st-year apprentices for jobs in the construction trades. For more information, visit us at www.stepbc.ca  

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The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is situated on the traditional and unceded lands of the Tk'emlups Te Secwepemc within Secwepemc'ulucw, the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people. We are honored to live and work and play on this land and acknowledge the complicated history and humbly move forward in a spirit of collaboration and gratitude.