A job fair is being held in Portage la Prairie, and its focus is in bringing assistance to Ukrainian newcomers to more easily settle into Portage la Prairie. 

Blair Hordeski is one of the organizers of Help Ukraine/Portage la Prairie and says Ukrainians are arriving in Winnipeg daily and a support centre has been set up for them at the Best Western hotel airport location. He's letting chamber members of Portage know what's taking place on July 21.

"These immigrants are not necessarily destitute (although some may have more needs than others) and are simply looking for a safe community to bring their family to where they can work and thrive," notes Hordeski. "Immigrants are provided with lodging at the hotel, but it is not indefinite. Nobody is certain as to the number of immigrants that will continue to arrive, but we have been encouraged to go ahead with our initiative."

He explains they're doing their best to promote the job fair in Portage to Ukrainians arriving, and are using social media and visits to the hotel and airport. 

"We will have assistance from local members of the Ukrainian community with translation," continues Hordeski. 

He's asking chamber members to keep in mind that they will have access to the Ukrainians that have arrived before the war and are currently living here, as well. 

"Many of these Ukrainian local residents are excited about connecting with local employers," adds Hordeski.

He provides their Full Disclosure:

  • as men of a certain age demographic are not currently allowed to leave the country, the participants will primarily be mothers with children
  • many of those coming are educated and come with a solid skill-set
  • many, if not all with not have transportation
  • location of housing will be very important and we are hoping to have representation from property management companies at this event as well
  • many are coming with limited or no English (but not all) We have already seen success locally using technology such as iPads and phones with translation apps to make communication possible
  • many speak both Ukrainian and Russian
  • some may be coming with young children in need of daycare services
  • many if not all have been issued a work permit that has certain restrictions  including not being able to work in certain health care fields, educational facilities and daycares, and agriculture, but following a medical exam which all immigrants need to have done within 90 days of arrival, they can apply to have these restrictions removed

Hordeski says there are already some employers who are thinking outside of the box to make it a win/win for everyone.

There is a bus with over 50 people that is prepared to bring Ukrainians to the job fair.

"The bottom line is that we are committed to 'going for it' and if, with the information provided, you feel it might be of any benefit to you, please accept our heartfelt invitation.," says Hordeski. "The event on the 21st really brings together a number of stakeholders from the community, including the Portage Regional Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce, Portage Learning and Literacy Centre as well as members of the local Ukrainian community. If there are any employers that wish to have a table, they're welcome to contact Cindy McDonald at the Portage Chamber of Commerce to register."


Call for Employers/Ukrainian Immigrant-Focused Job Fair

  • July 21st
  • Stride Place Multi-purpose room
  • 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. (soft ending time)

Goal: To connect displaced Ukrainian immigrants with employment opportunities in Portage la Prairie.

20 tables to be set up.