Since starting with JEDI just one short week ago, I have already learned so much and met so many people who will surely have a lasting impact on my personal and professional development. My name is Riley Patles and I am a First Nations woman from Metepenagiag. I am a graduate of St. Thomas university where I earned my degrees in Arts as well as Education. My position at JEDI is as a Business Liaison under the Aboriginal Labour Market Information project. My role is to be the link between industry and community and to help the Employment and Training Officers (ETOs) find job-ready candidates to earn meaningful employment.
Recently Jamie Saulnier of Running Deer Resources and Working Warriors visited New Brunswick to discuss how JEDI can better assist community ETOs to connect community members with employment opportunities. Working Warriors is a tool where Indigenous people can upload or create resumes and apply for jobs in New Brunswick and across Canada. JEDI and Working Warriors have assisted each of the fifteen provincial First Nations in building their own workforce database.
In December 2017, Working Warriors and JEDI hosted an event in Miramichi to showcase the usefulness of this tool. The amount of community members, industry leaders and other relevant parties who showed an interest in using the database in their own workplaces was very exciting. During the event, there was lots of discussion surrounding the database and how it could benefit the workplace. We discussed the barriers that hinder the presence of Indigenous people in the workforce and how Working Warriors can be an answer to overcoming those barriers.
In light of the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls To Action, it would appear industry is more than willing to discuss potential relationships with JEDI and Working Warriors. The database is proven to be an effective resource as noted in a case study presented by Charina Sappier of Elsipogtog. Charina was tasked with hiring 50 people in her community and as a result of using Working Warriors, she successfully filled all of the positions. An important aspect of her case study was that over 80% of the successful candidates were those who used Working Warriors to develop their resumes.
JEDI’s next steps are to work with employers to actively recruit directly in Indigenous communities through career fairs, open houses, meetings with industry, etc. We look forward to partnering with industry in the new year and making those important connections to ensure that the Indigenous labour market thrives.