Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forward! Canada Lures Energy Workers from U.S.

Well shoot, it's not like it's a tight labor market in the U.S. energy sector, or anything.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Canada looks to lure energy workers from the U.S.":

Energy Policy
EDMONTON, Canada — With a daughter to feed, no job and $200 in the bank, Detroit pipe fitter Scott Zarembski boarded a plane on a one-way ticket to this industrial capital city.

He'd heard there was work in western Canada. Turns out he'd heard right. Within days he was wearing a hard hat at a Shell oil refinery 15 miles away in Fort Saskatchewan. Within six months he had earned almost $50,000. That was 2009. And he's still there.

"If you want to work, you can work," said Zarembski, 45. "And it's just getting started."

U.S. workers, Canada wants you.

Here in the western province of Alberta, energy companies are racing to tap the region's vast deposits of oil sands. Canada is looking to double production by the end of the decade. To do so it will have to lure more workers — tens of thousands of them — to this cold and sparsely populated place. The weak U.S. recovery is giving them a big assist.

Canadian employers are swarming U.S. job fairs, advertising on radio and YouTube and using headhunters to lure out-of-work Americans north. California, with its 10.2% unemployment rate, has become a prime target. Canadian recruiters are headed to a job fair in the Coachella Valley next month to woo construction workers idled by the housing meltdown.

The Great White North might seem a tough sell with winter coming on. But the Canadians have honed their sales pitch: free universal healthcare, good pay, quality schools, retention bonuses and steady work.

"California has a lot of workers and we hope they come up," said Mike Wo, executive director of the Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

The U.S. isn't the only place Canada is looking for labor. In Alberta, which is expecting a shortage of 114,000 skilled workers by 2021, provincial officials have been courting English-speaking tradespeople from Ireland, Scotland and other European nations. Immigrants from the Philippines, India and Africa have found work in services. But some employers prefer Americans because they adapt quickly, come from a similar culture and can visit their homes more easily.

The Canadians need workers to power their energy sector. The Obama regime wants immigration reform to power our Democrat welfare sector.

Nope, America's not relinquishing global economic leadership to our competitors. No sir. Everything's fine and dandy. Just move along. Nothing to see here.


UPDATE: Linked at Blazing Cat Fur and Lonely Conservative. Thanks!