Thompson told a crowd at a Feb. 16 breakfast meeting at the Olds Legion that the company would try to hire local workers first.
“We’re going to try to hire as many people from Olds as we can. We’ll be having job fairs over the next six months. We have to start hiring for the first facility within the next three months,” Thompson said.
Thompson said Sundial would only bring workers in from Calgary or elsewhere if the jobs can’t be filled by local residents.
“That’s not our first choice,” he said. “Our first choice is to be the best corporate citizen we can be in the town of Olds.”
“There’s still eight to 10 per cent unemployment in this province so we don’t think that there’ll be a lack of interest.”
Thompson pointed out that Roy McIntyre, the company’s quality assurance director, lives in Olds.
“My wife’s uncle was the town manager about 20 years ago, so there’s a strong interest in supporting this community to the best of our ability, and we’ll do that in collaboration with the town,” he said.
Thompson said Sundial hopes to work with Olds College to create some kind of training course for people to work in the cannabis production business.
A concern was raised about the fact that a good percentage of these jobs will likely only pay minimum wage, thus, low-income housing will be needed.
Mayor Mike Muzychka noted Olds College built a big new student residence a couple of years ago. As a result, he said, the vacancy rate for rental units is probably higher than it used to be.
“That should alleviate some of the entry-level people coming into town. They’ll be able to rent, rather than purchase,” he said.
As the Albertan reported earlier, Muzychka also wants town officials to meet with prospective developers and persuade them to build a mix of housing, including units for low-income earners.
“We’re going to try to hire as many people from Olds as we can.”
SUNDIAL GROWERS INC.