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‘We are hiring big time’: Calgary tech companies join forces to attract job seekers – Calgary


A Calgary-based group of tech companies held a hiring fair downtown on Saturday to help get the word out that the technology sector needs skilled workers.

Jason Moore was working as a geologist in Calgary for the past eight years until September when he was laid off.

“I left on good terms. They treated me very fairly but it was more just a side effect of what all of Alberta is going through at this time,” Moore said.


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Moore is one of the hundreds of people who attended the first Tech West Collective hiring expo on Saturday. He now considers himself lucky. Moore is learning the world of coding and discovering a passion he never knew he had.

“I think one of the great things about coding is you get to build stuff, and you get to see if it works right away. It’s like the mouse pushing the button and you get the pellet,” Moore said with a laugh.

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The Tech West Collective is a group of Calgary tech companies that have teamed up to help fill vacant positions.

“We are feeling a talent gap. Now we want to build up the talent pool,” said Tech West Collective organizer Kat Lesperance.

Lesperance works at Showpass, a Calgary-based tech company that provides ticketing solutions for event organizers. Showpass and Avanti Software are two of the seven members of the collective.

“We are hiring big time,” said David Owen Cord, Avanti Software co-CEO.

He said the company is looking for people of all backgrounds — not just tech-related positions.

“It’s been interesting because of the negative headlines here in Calgary and the layoffs that are going on but we are having a very different reality in the business we live in every day. One of our biggest challenges is actually filling the open spots that we are trying to hire for,” Owen Cord said.

Part of the problem is a lack of people with tech skills.

EvolveU is a non-profit educational institution that is helping job hunters transform their careers to adapt to the rapidly changing digital economy.

“There’s so much opportunity right now that people don’t even know about. That’s exciting for me and it’s exciting to watch the students go through the transformation,” said Jen Morrison, program manager with EvolveU, at the job fair on Saturday.

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Calgary working to attract tech talent

Members of the Tech West Collective said it’s time for tech companies to stop poaching talent from each other and get the word out that Calgary’s economy goes beyond oil and gas. Those transitioning from the energy industry said the job hunt in the tech world is more encouraging.

“There [are] more jobs than would be for my old profession. It’s not that they’re handing them out, but there definitely does seem to be more excitement and more opportunity and a desire for more people to enter this industry,” Moore said, adding that he’s taking courses at EvolveU.

According to Calgary Economic Development, the city has over 2,000 open tech jobs.




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Launch of interactive map to identify all legal waste companies


In a move to better target those responsible for illegal dumping around the country, a new interactive map identifying all legal waste companies has been launched by Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton.

He said illegal dumpers were a scourge on communities across the country, and the new map available on mywaste.ie would ensure householders everywhere were able to quickly check that “the waste company collecting their waste has the appropriate authorisation to do so”.

Managing resources correctly was a key part of the Government’s climate action plan, he said, and actions such as those against illegal operators would ensure waste was managed in a better way, while giving people “a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future”.

He said some €3 million had gone into local community measures to tackle illegal dumping under the Anti-Dumping Initiative this year – a 50 per cent increase on last year. This was separate to a €7.4 million annual enforcement grant which supports recruitment and retention of 150 local authority waste enforcement personnel across the country.

mywaste.ie was initially launched last year by the Government as a guide to waste management and recycling.

Speaking at a Irish Waste Management Conference in Dublin, Leo Duffy of the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO) said there were 2,433 permitted waste collectors working across the State.

“By law all waste collectors in Ireland must have a valid NWCPO waste collection permit to operate legally. This ensures household waste is disposed of correctly. It ensures the content of the recycling bin can be returned for recycling, and the contents of the brown bin are properly processed. By using a permitted waste collector householders can be assured their general waste is being processed properly.”

Clean-ups

Kevin Swift, waste plan co-ordinator with the Connacht-Ulster Waste Management Office, said some of the waste discovered in its clean-ups belonged to householders who believed their waste was being disposed of by an authorised waste collector.

“With the new service on mywaste.ie, householders can assure themselves that their waste collector has an up-to-date permit, and also see with just one click of a button all permitted waste management providers in their area.”



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