Xstrata Copper and the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) joined forces recently to recruit some
The Brunswick Mine in Bathurst, N.B., a
division of Xstrata Zinc, is winding down operations since its mine
life ends in 2013.
The Timmins operation, which includes
the Kidd Mine and the metallurgical site, made a pitch to try and
recruit some employees to Timmins.
“We gave a presentation on our
operations and then the (TEDC) gave a presentation on the city
itself,” said Brian Fleury, Xstrata senior human resources advisor
in Timmins. “We had about 40 positions to fill at the time and we
are always looking for those with mining experience. These would be
very familiar with Xstrata's way of doing things so they could fit in
very well and hit the ground running.”
Cheryl St. Amour, director of business
development and retention for the TEDC, offered the prospective
employees an overview of what their life would be like in Timmins.
“It wasn't just the mine talking
about their mine and their perspective of the community,” she said.
“I talked about what the community offers.”
The Bathurst workers responded well to
the community overview and they realized the two communities were
“Comparisons were made between the
two communities and both have that small-town charm, it's spread out
like us, the weather is similar, but, we just don't have the ocean,”
Fourteen employees expressed an
interest and they and their families were flown to Timmins for a few
days to get a feel for the city and Xstrata's operations.
“Out of those 14, nine accepted
almost immediately so it was a success,” he said.
The partnership with the TEDC continued
during the Timmins visit with St. Amour conducting a community tour.
“We took them from one end of the
community to the other,” she said. “We told them about the
hospital, took them to the shopping mall and we called in a real
estate representative and showed them a house to see what they could
get for a certain price.”
The group visited a school and learned
about the school system and what recreational opportunities are
“We allowed them to get a real feel
for what life in Timmins is about,” St. Amour said.
Xstrata had specific guidelines and
time frames for recruiting from the Brunswick Mine, and offers of
employment had to be made and accepted by a certain date.
“They wanted to know how many would
be leaving and when since they have to ramp down there as well,”
Once the New Brusnswick operation is
closed, there may be an opportunity to hire more if they are still
“We can examine that then but if they
have the skill set we are needing, how can we say no,” he said. “It
is hard to find good, qualified people or to even train good,
qualified people and have them stay. Most industries in Northern
Ontario are having difficulty.”
The Brunswick Mine has about 800
employees and the Timmins operations have more than 1,000.
“This was a great opportunity for us
and I see it as a success,” said Christy Marinig, CEO of the TEDC.
“It doesn't have to be hundreds of
people moving here but anyone who does means it is great for the
The TEDC also promoted its jobs in
Timmins website (www.jobsintimmins.com), a free platform for employers
to post jobs.
“We tell employers to use this one in
addition to any other one they use because we are actively promoting
it at trade shows and events,” Marinig said. “We have had about
250 employers who have posted and about 15,000 hits from January to
June so it is building momentum and the word is getting out there.”