Joseph Florean speaking with Karl Sexton and Sonya Robinson of Viking Fire Protection. Photo credit: Linda Verreault

The atrium in the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence was filled with over 100 students, alumni, and corporate representatives on March 29 during the fourth annual networking event.

Civil engineering technology student Joseph Florean, 21, said he wanted to meet potential employers. He hoped to make good contacts and connections.

Florean was looking to find employment as a field engineer heading toward project management. “I wouldn’t want to jump in without getting experience. I think starting near the bottom would be good,” said Florean.

Nick Paquette, a civil engineering technology student, was part of the event organizing committee.

”I was always asking when I was promoting this event: Do you have a job for the summer? What are you doing after you graduate? I have not really encountered an issue with students finding work,” said Paquette, 34.

“The pool is not large enough to satisfy all the employers right now, that is what I would say is the issue at this time,” said Paquette.

This is a sentiment shared by the Algonquin College president and CEO Claude Brulé, who has said “the province faces an escalating shortage of qualified people in key sectors” and that it is estimated “nearly 300,000 jobs are going unfilled. Ontario colleges will be pivotal to producing graduates with the expertise to fill that demand.”

Marcel Prezotto, 37, a student in the construction engineering technician program, was at the networking event looking for work.

“I am not particularly looking for something special as long as it is construction or construction-related. I am open to every possibility. Big companies such as PCL because they are really big, they give you more possibilities to rise in your career, so that is a really interesting company for me.” said Prezotto.

Architectural technician student Seidra Winsler 20, said she was looking for work and was “flexible and willing to go where the work is. Anywhere the doors are open for me.”