The Fernie Chamber of Commerce put together the new Work in Fernie website. File Photo

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce put together the new Work in Fernie website. File Photo

Chamber launches localized workforce attraction website

The Work in Fernie website intends on bringing workers to the Elk Valley during the off season

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce recently launched a workforce attraction website specific to the Elk Valley. Addressing labour shortages felt by a number of local businesses, the site is targeted towards attracting job seekers to the Elk Valley for the spring, summer, and fall seasons. In partnership with Tourism Fernie, the website, Work in Fernie, houses an online job board as well as inspirational content and resources for aspiring employees, while showcasing the area’s diversity of careers and attractive lifestyle.

According to Brad Parsell, executive director for the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, though Fernie’s renowned skiing attracts sufficient employees for the winter season, year round businesses struggle once seasonal workers leave in the spring. With tourism reaching winter levels even in the summer, businesses are struggling due to diminished labour pools to draw from to accommodate for the rise in clientele.

Parsell also mentioned that the issue is exacerbated as British Columbia’s general workforce is aging, with less people entering it than leaving, heightening the need to devise creative ways to attract workers to the Elk Valley.

“Local labour-intensive businesses like hotels and restaurants are in a constant cycle of re-hiring and re-training staff from season to season, which is a costly exercise,” said Parsell. “This issue has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw many of the Elk Valley’s foreign workers on temporary work permits returning to their home countries. Access to a stable workforce is a key economic development pillar for Fernie and the Elk Valley if local businesses are to not only survive this pandemic, but grow and be successful in the future. Any hope of attracting new entrepreneurs, businesses and investment will also hinge on the ability for these new ventures to be adequately staffed year round.”

The workforce attraction program was outlined in the Fernie Chamber of Commerce’s 2019/2020 strategic plan, and also functions in accordance with a project area in the Kootenay Rockies Destination Development Strategy. The need for attracting more workers to the area was also identified as a priority action in the upcoming Fernie Tourism Master Plan.

Conceptualized by the chamber in 2019, the Work in Fernie project was developed with seed funding awarded through the Government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s Rural Dividend Fund.

Assisting with the endeavour, Tourism Fernie donated photography to supplement the website, and will continue offering marketing support. Both Tourism Fernie and the chamber hope this project will assist with the labour shortage challenges local tourism operators are currently facing, especially as our uncertain economic recovery unfolds.

Local Elk Valley businesses are encouraged to begin posting job opportunities to the site by signing up via the Post a Job option on the home page at Chamber staff are also available to assist businesses with signing up. For more information or questions, contact Parsell at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The number of skiers and snowboarders using the Fernie ski shuttle to get to Fernie Alpine Resort from town is down by 77 per cent this season. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shuttle use down 77 per cent as travel advisory bites

The ski shuttle in Fernie is reducing it’s frequency to five times a day as a result

A photo from an early construction stage taken in the fall of 2020. (Photo Contributed)
Elkford’s Meeting Place comes to life

Construction on the outdoor space is set to wrap up this coming summer

The RDEK is accepting applications for the CBT’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. File Photo)
CBT’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs accept proposals

Sparwood reminds residents to apply for the grants prior to Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Sparwood mayor David Wilks was in attendance at the street party to discuss potential changes to Centennial Square.
Closing the border not viable: Wilks

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks said shutting B.C. just wasn’t possible

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Harvest Meats is recalling a brand of Polish sausages, shown in a handout photo, due to undercooking that may make them unsafe to eat. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recall affects customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario and Saskatchewan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Food Inspection Agency Mandatory Credit
Harvest Meats recalls sausages over undercooking

Customers are advised to throw away or return the product

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Purcell Wilderness Conservancy expanded with 18 hectares of previously privately-owned land. Photo from BC Parks.
Purcell Wilderness Conservancy expanded following Provincial land acquisition

18 hectares of waterfront added to critical wildlife habitat

Most Read