The Golden City will be part of a new study to help build and expand the labour market in the province’s resort communities.
As part of a five-month, $70,000 project, Rossland will be one of 14 B.C. resort communities to undergo analysis to identify resort community labour market trends, gaps, practices, and employee recruitment challenges.
But the situation in city’s labour market isn’t quite as difficult as impetus for a new study might suggest, says Tourism Rossland executive director Deanne Stevens.
She said the city enjoys a stable workforce and less volatile recruitment challenges because Red Mountain Resort is unionized—and has a very high return rate for its employees—and the affordable quality of life the city offers entices people to stay.
“So I think that probably has an impact on the rest of the labour market here in Rossland,” she said. “You can afford to live here and it is so much cheaper to live here than other resort communities.”
The biggest challenge in the Rossland labour market is the competition it has with Teck Trail Operations for employees, where higher wages lure many down the hill. As well, there is competition from other local businesses pulling people from one area to another.
“So I guess that is a good problem to have,” she said, alluding to the strength of the local economy.
The findings of the study are expected to feed into the development of a BC Resort Community Labour Market Strategic Analysis, a paper that could strengthen places like Rossland as it continues to recruit, train, and retain staff in local businesses.
Producing the report will require data gathering, research and analysis, stakeholder facilitation, and drafting recommendations.
The other 13 resort communities supported by the analysis include Fernie, Invermere, Radium Hot Springs, Sun Peakes, Valemount, Golden, Kimberley, Revelstoke, Tofino, Whistler, Harrison Hot Springs, Osoyoos and Ucluelet.
The analysis will be conducted by Go2 Tourism HR Society, an independent, not-for-profit society mandated to lead the planning and implementation of the BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy.
Go2 provides general support to the tourism sector in areas of recruitment, training, and retention of staff.
They are also the industry training organization for the tourism and hospitality apprenticeship program, manages several related industry training and certification programs, provides strategic research and communication support to the sector, and is the tourism industry’s Health and Safety organization.