Fredericton Chamber of Commerce co-hosts a HR Forum with the HRANB

For Immediate Release – 25 October 2013

(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and the Human Resources Association of New Brunswick co-hosted a half-day human resources forum on 25 October 2013 with nearly 100 participants in attendance. The professional development event was made possible with support from the Province through the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (DPETL).

Many small- and medium-sized businesses are unable to carry a full-time human resources professional. The results of this lack of internal capability are reflected in the chamber's annual membership survey, which has shown that many members are interested in learning more about a variety of HR-related issues. Today's forum allowed participants to learn about a wide breadth of topics based on the feedback provided in the chamber survey. The interactive nature of the session also allowed attendees to customize their experience and have their particular questions answered. The session was moderated by Sally Wells, a workplace consultant based in the Fredericton area.

Peter McLean of DPETL provided information on programs available under the province's Workforce Expansion Program, including support for EI-eligible workers, student entrepreneurs and the One-Job Pledge. The One-Job Pledge is targeted towards recent graduates of post-secondary institutions. This program provides up to $10.00 per hour for 52 weeks for such an employee, who must make a total minimum of $14.00 per hour.

A panel discussion covered a number of topics, including job descriptions and related documents, hiring and recruiting, as well as interviewing techniques and effective use of references amongst others. Panelists included Shawn Quinlan and Cathy Colpitts of Skillsoft, Scott Keenan of Priority Personnel, and Andy Buyting of Carle Ventures Inc.

The keynote speaker for the morning was Jamie Eddy, a partner with Cox & Palmer in Fredericton. He spoke about the top five HR-related legal issues that their labour and employment group are currently dealing with in the province. The issues ranged from absenteeism to privacy to social media use.

"In recent years, at the request of the membership, the chamber has placed a greater emphasis on providing professional development opportunities to both members and the business community generally," stated Krista Ross, chamber CEO. "Being able to work with partners such as the HRANB and DPETL allows us to more effectively deliver these services. The sessions, including today's, are particularly effective because of the high quality of volunteer speakers and panelists that generously provide their time to the benefit of the business community."

With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada's largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.

Contact: Krista Ross, CEO, 458.8006.

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