Year in Review: Calgary Employer Forum 2020
2020 has thrown lots of challenges to the Calgary Employer Forum and Calgary businesses.
Plans changed as businesses and organizations pivoted to adapt to the reality of a pandemic. Some businesses experienced significant lay-offs, while others increased their hiring of front-line workers. Everyone experienced uncertainty, never knowing when protocols and guidelines were going to change.
Throughout all of this, the Calgary Employer Forum kept functioning. Sure, we missed a meeting in the spring, but were able to pick up again in the newly embraced world of online meetings.
The topics we covered were:
- Mental Health and Anxiety in light of COVID-19 – Alberta Health Services
- Substance Use and Addiction in the Workplace – Fresh Start Recovery Centre
- Hiring Indigenous Youth – Trellis
- Creating Youth-Friendly Job Postings – Calgary Employer Forum
- Screening Youth Candidates – Calgary Employer Forum
We can’t forget our two in-person meeting of the year. One, hosted by Kal Tire, with special guest the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, and the other in the Central Library focused on mental health and mental illness with Trellis.
In March 2020, our meetings moved online. We learned that there is a definite art to conducting a virtual meeting. Hopefully, we got better at it!
Thankfully, Calgary employers remain interested in hiring and retaining Opportunity Youth as part of their workforce. Eighteen different companies participated in meetings in 2020, and eight of those companies joined in 2020.
Response to Employer Needs
For the first year of the Calgary Employer Forum, we relied on a lot of guest speakers, such as the Centre for Sexuality, for the content of our meetings. This was great and we learned a lot, but members provided feedback that they wanted to find out more about how to find Opportunity Youth and how to recruit them into their workforce.
Chelsea, Paul and Leita, from the Forum Steering Committee, got to work on developing a plan for future meetings. Using their expertise, the trio presented at a couple of meetings, looking at job postings and screening candidates. We created tip sheets on How to Write a Youth-Friendly Job Posting, and How to Engage and Select Youth Candidates.
Website and Marketing
One of our big accomplishments of the year was working to get this website up and going. The Calgary Employer Forum engaged JYZ Designs to make our logo and website. Both the logo and website tell our story and provide information about connecting with Opportunity Youth. Check it out, while you are here!
The Calgary Employer Forum has a few goals for 2021. We plan to host more meetings for local employers and create some professional videos promoting the Forum and hiring Opportunity Youth. We hope you can join us at our first meeting back on January 21, 2021.