Article by:  John Campbell

The Independent, January 27, 2011

TRENT HILLS – A recent survey of two dozen businesses in Trent Hills found 19 per cent of them expect to hire between five and nine people over the next three years, while an equal number is looking at hiring 10 to 14 people.  At least two companies are looking at adding more than 25 people to their payroll during the same period, according to the survey’s results presented at the 2011 Business Appreciation Breakfast Jan. 18.

Vicki Clarke, manager of the Campbellford Community Resource Centre, said the two companies were going outside the country to develop new business.  “One was definitely the health industry,” she said.  “I was astounded by the number of business in this community that are dealing nationally and internationally.  Many of you are stepping outside the community and finding there are opportunities to grow and become a bigger player.”

While some businesses are planning to add new workers to fit their growing, needs, she said others will be hiring to replace retiring workers or accommodate a regular turnover.

Slightly more than half of those surveyed reported an increase in employee numbers over the past three years, while only 10 per cent reduced their workforce, Ms. Clarke said.  “That’s pretty darn health,” she said, but the reality is there are still empty buildings and the resource centre receives 500 visitors each month looking for support as well as help in finding employment.

The resource centre and the municipality’s economic development department initiated the survey to determine the labour needs of area employers and what gaps could be filled locally to provide workers with the proper training.  The survey subsequently became part of a larger effort currently being done by Northumberland County which is to be completed by the end of March.

She said the “hot jobs” for the next three years will be in clerical work (an estimated 20 positions), the health profession (20), sales and service (19), trades helpers and construction workers (15), administrative and business (11) and support for health services (11), such as dental assistant and nurse’s aide.