San Diego is famous for sunshine, fish tacos, and beaches, but not for its low unemployment rate. Canada on the other hand is renowned for its frozen tundra, hockey teams, and, recently its need for hard-working Americans.
Waiting around for the economy in California to turn around (the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent) could leave you broke and hungry. So pack your bags, buy a really big coat, and head to Edmonton, Canada, where they will need 114,000 skilled workers by 2021.
That’s a lot of jobs.
Edmonton is called the “Oil Capital of Canada,” and they need oil workers. Unfortunately for them, recruiting skilled workers to drill and cap has been difficult. There are only so many hard hats in Canada so energy companies are looking, almost begging, for Americans to come and work for them.
And California wants you to go!
Riverside County has teamed up with the Canada California Business Council to recruit people to move to Canada to work in construction and is holding job fairs to help send out-of-work Californian’s to the Great White North.
“I plan on going,” said Ted McEwan of Temecula. “I’m tired of waiting for construction jobs to come back. If I have a chance to feed my family and get ahead that’s what I’ll do.”
Moving to Edmonton isn’t like moving to the North Pole — although in winter it might feel like it. It looks a lot like any Midwest town in America. It’s a thriving city with a thriving economy, fashionable stores, theaters, restaurants, and good schools — not to mention the free universal healthcare.
Besides jobs in the oil fields, job seekers can find gigs in construction, health care, and even hair salons.
“I’m going to work as a stylist because they have people lined up out the door to get their hair cut,” said Lani Dery of Oceanside. “My cousin went last year and made $65,000 in nine months as a roofer. He came home for a month but went back. He said the people are really nice, and his paycheck is fat.”
Jobs are available in Edmonton, but the best paying ones are in Fort McMurray, a rural town about six hours from the big city. Pay starts around $39 an hour for construction work and the Canadian and American dollar are about the same in value.
The good news is that if you’re serious about heading to the Edmonton area for a job, you don’t have to send your resume to Monster.com or some robot that ignores your CV. Toss your moon boots in a suitcase, borrow some mittens, and start driving to Canada. Once you’re there, look around for the ‘Help Wanted’ signs and trudge through the snow and apply in person. According to reports, you should have a job in a week or so.
One other thing; you will need a passport. If don’t have one yet and you think you might want to make some big money doing what you used to do instead of hanging out at the beach with no money, you better get on it. Passports take at least four weeks to process. Once you have a job you will be directed as to how to apply for a work permit. It’s not that difficult.
Sure it will be cold, you’ll be far from your family and friends and cheese is kind of expensive up north, but hey, you’ll be earning a big paycheck and you can always find new friends.
Representatives from the British Columbia Construction Association will be at the first job fair, set for December 4 at the Workforce Development Center in Indio. For more information, go to the county website rivcoeda.org.
To find out more about Edmonton, try Edmonton.ca.