CALGARY – For the past seven years, the mining community of Baia Mare in Romania’s northern interior has eagerly stepped up to alleviate Alberta’s labour shortages. For Joe Giusti, founder and CEO of one of Western Canada’s largest construction companies, it was a long way to travel to search for workers.
It was hard, too, once he found them. His firm, Giusti Group, had to teach recruits basic English so they would understand safety regulations. They had to meet rigid immigration requirements for temporary foreign workers. They had to be moved to an unfamiliar work environment, and sent back home just as they were getting used to their new jobs and way of life.
Yet Mr. Giusti was so encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by hundreds of young people who answered his calls for carpenters, cement finishers and general labourers, and by their performance in Alberta, he led recruitment missions there several times. Meanwhile, he was pleased to notice how the local community’s economy flourished from a steady influx of Alberta oil cash, as people dressed better, bought new furniture and renovated houses.