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Lost your job in Alberta? Expect a tweet from the NWT

A territorial government campaign to bring more people to the NWT is targeting workers who lose their jobs in Alberta.

Come Make Your Mark, established five years ago, seeks to match up people across Canada with private-sector jobs in the Northwest Territories.

So far, Come Make Your Mark says more than 100 people have made the move north as a direct result of its work to popularize the NWT.

Now, it’s reaching out to people in Alberta whose jobs have fallen victim to the plunge in oil prices.

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“A lot of it is timing,” said Kelly Kaylo, assistant deputy minister at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Kaylo said the campaign conducted research to find areas of Canada where “people were in a position where they would have to relocate for work”.

In the past, this included areas of Atlantic Canada and cities like North Bay.

“Certain markets that were either stagnant or potentially even depressed at the time, that represented an opportunity for us,” Kaylo told Moose FM.

“Today we’re seeing a market in Alberta that has quite a draw for potential new residents here – because, again, economically, things have changed in that particular province.

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“We would not have seen that a few, short years ago. In fact, most people would get caught up in Alberta, stay there, and we wouldn’t see them coming farther north.”

Come Make Your Mark has attended trade shows and job fairs in Calgary and Edmonton, but much of its work takes place online.

“It’s about impressions, contacts, clicks, likes, all those things,” said Kaylo.

“In areas like Fort McMurray, or other places where we’re seeing opportunities for people to move, we can activate social media very quickly.”

Nancy Mullick, a senior consultant at Yellowknife communications consultancy Tait, is Come Make Your Mark’s project manager.

“Whenever we go into an area, we do social media before, during and after,” said Mullick.

“We promote our website and drive people to like us on Facebook. After that, we do a full analytic of what kind of visits we’ve had, the number of hits.

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“From the end of January to mid-February, when we were doing a condensed number of career fairs, we had over 10,000 visits to the website in a three-week period.”

Employment continues to dwindle in Alberta. A report on Wednesday claimed 1,000 tradespeople at a Husky Sunrise Energy oilsands project lost their jobs this week.

The territorial government has an ambition to attract 2,000 new residents to the Northwest Territories over the space of five years.

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