SUDBURY -- Excitement is in the air at Vale's Copper Cliff headquarters as the mining giant launches a recruiting event to fill hundreds of vacancies.

"Vale is opening its doors to the community, we're holding two pop-up events this week," said Vale Corporate Affairs Advisor Sarah Yasinchuk. "I've had many people come up to me and tell me this is the first they've heard of a pop-up event of this kind and these are people that have worked here or their partners have worked here for 20 years."

"It feels like something new and exciting to be able to open our doors to the community, welcome them into our operations, talk to our experts, ask their questions, bring their resumes, get on-the-spot conversations going with our recruiters , we'll even be live uploading resumes when people bring them to us, so we're very excited to welcome the community," Yasinchuk said.

The initial online post has already been shared hundreds of times and company officials say they're encouraged with a lot of the interest they're seeing.

. "We've been proactive, we're expecting big numbers and that's the goal of this but we have allocated some safety support so we will have our protection and safety services staff on hand to help us manage crowds," said Yasinchuk, adding "they will be out directing traffic, assisting people with safe parking."

It's a big turnaround for the city's largest private employer which has been looking to ramp up production by re-opening the South Mine. They're also looking to fill a few hundred jobs as baby-boomers start to retire.

According to a Deloitte economic contribution report comissioned by Vale, the company contributed $27.1 billion to Sudbury's economy and $30.8 billion to the province of Ontario. The report also showed 8,600 full-time equivalent jobs either created or sustained by Vale and over 11,500 full-time equivalent jobs created or sustained across the country.

Katy Scharf, Human Resources Business Partner with Vale says they're looking for new employees in several areas.

"We're looking for miners of course, trades people, specifically heavy duty equipment technicians, millwright technicians, electricians, supervisors who are experienced in the mining industry as well as engineers and other technical support staff as well." Scharf said.

Scharf says they're looking for people with different thoughts and ideas who will bring a new perspective to the workplace. They're specifically looking at the indigenous communities and the female workforce with the hope of building a more diverse team.

Steelworkers Union 'Cautiously Optimistic'

The company is currently in negotiations with United Steelworkers local 6500 and while they couldn't talk about bargaining, officials at the local union remain 'cautiously optimistic' about this recruiting effort.

"Increasing our membership is always good, knowing that there are good paying jobs," said vice-president Kevin Boyd. "Steelworkers are good neighbours so what we're looking at is if we increase the jobs in Sudbury that are good paying – that's good for the community, that's good for Sudbury businesses, that's a win-win for everybody right?"

"In the next five years, we currently have about 400 of our members that have 25 year plus service and there is an attrition that can be seen there so in essence you would think they're looking at about 800 people to employ," Boyd said. 

Business also 'cautious'

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce officials like the fact that Vale is hiring, they'll be looking to see if these are indeed new jobs.

 "There's been huge investment that the company has made in the community and now that they're looking for hundreds of employees, that speaks very well." said Chamber president Debbi Nicholson.

She adds the jobs are well-paid and they will contribute to the economy and the community. 

"There are certain sectors of the economy that certainly are picking up and job creation is a factor. What the challenge is, is that there is a lack of talent in the community and if you're continuing just to rotate job opportunities within the current pool within your community that becomes challenging but if you're attracting new talent to your community that's where it picks up and helps the economy significantly," said Nicholson.