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(Oct. 31/14) The Alberta Foodservice Labour Connections Pilot aims to connect Restaurants Canada members with untapped sources of labour. Developed by the Government of Alberta and Restaurants Canada, this program enables our Edmonton members to work with employment, training and career service providers to hire job-seekers from disadvantaged and underrepresented populations who are looking to gain experience in the restaurant industry.

Ashley Cardinal is a young woman hired by Tim Hortons in southeast Edmonton. She is pictured here with her manager Dave Verge.

Launched in March, this one-year pilot could not be more timely given the devastating Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) reforms announced this summer that have left employers in a labour crunch. Many Restaurants Canada members have turned to the program to help fill the labour void.

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Smitty’s
Smitty’s has successfully found a number of strong job candidates through the Alberta Foodservice Labour Connections Pilot. Barbara Smyth of Sroka Group Restaurants International hired Michael Munro as her first employee through the program. Michael started working at Smitty’s in May as a dishwasher/busser, and has since moved up to greeting customers, taking drink orders and bidding guests farewell.

“Michael is an exceptional addition to our team, and a ray of sunshine to his colleagues and customers. The program is not only a good business decision, it is a must – it helps us find local talent.

Diyana Zlateva (left) is a new immigrant hired through the program by Tim Hortons in northeast Edmonton. She is pictured here with co-worker Patricia Magatalas.
We are living in a labour market where an advertisement can bring in zero resumes, so we need to tap into every avenue possible to help us keep our doors open. Why would any business pass up an opportunity to have someone assist with recruiting? I am grateful for the program and encourage anyone who isn’t using it to sign up.”
– Barbara Smyth, Vice-President of Sroka Group Restaurants International

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Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons franchisees in Edmonton have also relied on the Alberta Foodservice Labour Connections Pilot to find suitable employees with strong work ethic.

“The program gives us the opportunity to acquire new employees that have a great work ethic like Diyana. We will continue to look outside the box for ways to make our team grow. Any help we can get is always welcome and we look forward to continued support from the program.”
– Crissi Oliver, Tim Hortons franchisee

“This program is another avenue to ensure we get more access to possible team members to work in our restaurants. Any help in doing so goes a long way.”
– Steve Schattle, Tim Hortons franchisee

Aramark
Aramark has turned to the program to help meet its labour requirements.

“Many candidates referred to our organization by the Alberta Labour Connections Pilot have the relevant background and experience we’re seeking for various positions. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Restaurants Canada and this valuable program.”
– Katherine Jones, Human Resources Director, Western Canada of Aramark Canada Ltd.

Join the program!
To join the program, please contact Barb Jusiak at 604-685-9655 or bjusiak@restaurantscanada.org

Read more information on the program.

Thank you, members
As of October, 34 members have been placed with member restaurants through the program. Thank you to all our members for making the Alberta Labour Connections Pilot a success in Edmonton. Your support and use of the program benefits everyone.

Top photo: Michael Munro with Barbara Smyth, Vice President of Sroka Group Restaurants International.

By Barb Jusiak, Program Manager

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