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As demand for minerals grows, Wawa is ‘booming’

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The northwestern Ontario community of Wawa is enjoying growth in the natural resource sector and workers are needed throughout the scenic area.

The Canada Goose statue draws many travellers off of the Trans-Canada Highway into Wawa. And when people take the time to explore the town and its surroundings, there is a lot to take in.

“When people come here they fall in love because we’re in a natural setting that provides huge opportunity for a variety of recreation,” said Maury O’Neill, Wawa’s CAO.

Just minutes from Lake Superior, the town of just 2,700 also has good reasons people will want to stick around.

“Wawa is booming,” O’Neill said.

Natural resources have brought many to Wawa, and an OSB (oriented strand board) mill soon opening will bring more, town officials said.

“There are multiple … jobs in the mining sector, particularly the gold sector right now in our community,” O’Neill said.

“In addition, we have forestry around us. Some mills and opportunities coming up.”

Health care is another major employer. The Lady Dunn Health Centre is the hub for treatment in the area and they need more staff.

“We’re generally in need for all positions, whether that be from housekeeping, registration, and also in nursing,” said Kadean Ogilvie of the Lady Dunn Health Centre.

“We have physician as well with two vacant positions. Social work, as well.”

Russell Reid, from the Regional Employment Help Centre, said it’s “an employees market right now.”

“All employers are short-staffed,” Reid said.

“We have a severe shortage of locals ready to fill the vacancies that we have.”

Hospital officials say they hired a physician recruiter last year and aim to promote the centre at events across the province.

Although its geography can be a challenge when recruiting, it can also be Wawa’s greatest strength. 

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