© Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
Summerside economic development officer, Nancy Quinn, outlines the benefits of the Skills Matcher Tool website launched by the city department. The program matches those looking for work with potential employers.
SUMMERSIDE – A new online tool launched by the Summerside economic development department, aimed at matching those looking for work with potential employers, is catching on.
The city’s economic development officer, Nancy Quinn, told members of the Summerside Rotary Club, Tuesday, the initiative lays out the type of workforce available in the area.
“We created an online tool, called Skills Matcher Tools, which is… for both recruiters and candidates,” Quinn said. “Candidates can put their resumé in. It’s very discreet so people in the community, who may not want it known that they might be looking for an alternate opportunity, can put their resume in. Their name is not shown except to the company who is searching for them. Recruiters can go in and review the resumés.”
She said the Skills Matcher Tool is discreet, free, and very simple, so anybody can use it.
“When I talked to companies that we’re trying to attract (to the city), their number 1 question would be ‘What is you labour force like?’” Quinn said. “This tool would be able to give them a real… true picture of what our labour force can offer them… If they’re a computing company, they can go in and look under a particular technician and see that we have a dozen or 100 people with the skills they are looking for.”
Quinn said the beauty of the project is that it goes beyond local boundaries.
The other part of Skills Matcher involves reaching out to people “that we know want to come back to Summerside and area,” she said.
“The biggest complaint those people have is always ‘I need a job; I just can’t move back and I can’t spend six months or a year trying to find the job for me,’” Quinn said. Skills Matcher provides an online tool “to find that job and also to say ‘I’m available for work in Summerside, P.E.I. I want to live and work and raise my family on the Island.”
Quinn said the Skills Matcher Tool website was launched about a year ago but was slow getting started.
“We didn’t really have the resources to support it at that time,” she said. “Now, getting out in the community, we are gaining support and so it’s getting more successful. Every week more resumés are getting added which we’re always glad to see. We’re also getting many more requests from recruiters who are coming online.
“I would say we’re going up exponentially about 10 per cent a week on both of those registration sides. So, while it’s new and early days in this launch of Skills Matcher, I would say it is catching on.”
Quinn said it is being well received by the employment sector.
“All of the people that I’ve been speaking with – the human resources sector, career services of all different varieties – are telling us that this tool is something they can really use,” she said. “They’re recommending it to their candidates to fill out the database, and they think it’s really filling a particular need in Summerside.”