With the devastating fires in Fort McMurray at the beginning of May, Manpower and our fellow Albertans knew in the days, weeks, and months to come, that this would be our time to step up and support our community.
Manpower had the great pleasure of working alongside our client partners to recruit and deploy close to 100 general laborers and skilled trades workers from all over Alberta, to assist in cleanup and rebuild efforts. Our team was overwhelmed with pride in meeting so many who were eager to do what they could to stay true to our commitment in providing the support, resources, and thoughts needed to help rebuild this thriving community.
Recently, our Edmonton Business Solutions Leader, Trevor Mahl and Edmonton Operations Leader Bobbi Stahler, made a trip up to Fort McMurray to meet our associates and clients, and tour the areas they were working very hard to clean up and restore. They kindly shared their experiences of witnessing the devastation, as well as the resilience and positivity held by residents of Fort McMurray.
Bobbi Stahler, Edmonton Operations Leader:
“A few weeks ago, my colleague, Trevor and I went to Fort McMurray. For those of you have not been fortunate to travel the highway to this bustling community, it is outlined with trees for most of the way. As we passed certain areas, the scorched trees were a reminder of the reality that faced the residents just a short time before.
As we got closer to the city, along the highway were also signs welcoming home the residents and reminding them of their strength. Both sentiments were heartwarming to me as the fire that threatened this community has had an impact on so many lives and reminded us of what is truly important in our lives.
As we drove into the city and went to our meeting located in downtown Fort McMurray, I saw many people had returned back to their homes and the downtown area still intact. People were happy to be home which could be seen in the attitude of the people in the stores and restaurants – there is a pride in overcoming this disaster and a kinship of the people there. We had heard that some of the stores in town were having problems reopening as there were people who were not coming back to Fort McMurray. I called the florists in town, to learn they had not reopened, but were hoping to soon – thank goodness for limited selection at Safeway.
There were reminders of the devastation, such as the Beacon Hill area being blocked off and having to pass security to gain entrance, the burned out vehicles, scorched trees that showed how many other areas of the city were threatened and also showed the heroic efforts of the fire fighters.
As Trevor and I left the city – I knew this city and its people will be changed, but fine. They will rebuild, they are strong and the rest of us will be here to assist in any way we can”.
Trevor Mahl, Edmonton Business Solutions Leader:
“Bobbi and I visited our client and employees on the Fort McMurray clean-up. It was a very emotional drive into the city seeing all the devastation the city has endured especially in the Beacon Hill neighborhood which is on the West side of the city as you enter, the area was still being blocked off to traffic by RCMP and Security to the area due to safety concerns. All you could see was white ashes and a burned out vehicle of the neighborhood, it was a very eerie feeling. But as we drove into the center of the city you couldn’t tell there was a natural disaster. The city was bustling and seemed back to normal, people were smiling and just seemed happy to be home. Our first experience of this was in the Wal-Mart, where everyone seemed happy and friendly, almost as if this has brought people closer together”.