Thousands of pre-screening interviews for Vancouver 2010 volunteer positions underway

    More than 3,600 face-to-face interviews per month to begin in July

    VANCOUVER, June 19 /CNW/ - One of the biggest volunteer recruitment
exercises in Canadian history is getting personal. Now that approximately
45,000 people have applied to volunteer for the 2010 Winter Games, the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC) has embarked on a massive team-building exercise that will
include face-to-face meetings with 3,600 applicants in July alone.
    Following its initial Call for Volunteers in February 2008, the
Organizing Committee began pre-screening thousands of applicants in May and is
moving to the next stage in the recruitment process - in-person interviews
with as many as 100 people daily, beginning next month. Screening and
interviewing all applicants is a lengthy process that will continue through
the fall of 2009 with the goal of building a team of 25,000 volunteers from
across Canada and around the world who are ready for an experience of a
lifetime in 2010.
    "We're delighted with the response we've had from Canadians and people
from around the world to our Call for Volunteers. While it's still possible to
apply, we're moving to the next step," said Donna Wilson, VANOC executive vice
president, workforce and sustainability. "We've received applications from
hopeful volunteers in every Canadian province and territory and from
95 different countries; it has been truly inspiring to see so many Games
enthusiasts step forward. We continue to welcome applicants, particularly
those residing in or with access to accommodation in the Sea to Sky corridor."
    Workopolis, Canada's biggest job site and VANOC's online recruitment
partner, helped support the Call for Volunteers across Canada with a major
advertising and public relations campaign. Worldwide information technology
partner Atos Origin created and supports the secure volunteer application
platform, which collects and processes volunteer data for Vancouver 2010. More
than 45,000 people nationwide and internationally visited for information on opportunities, requirements
and, ultimately, to put their names forward to help welcome the world in 2010.
    "With an undertaking as enormous as interviewing 100 people per day and
3,600 people per month to build a volunteer team of 25,000 skilled and
specialized volunteers, it was critical for us to have the right partners both
in terms of resources and technical expertise," said Dick Vollet, VANOC vice
president of workforce. "Atos Origin and Workopolis have been key to our
success to date by delivering outstanding solutions and results - I can't
underscore enough the value they have added to this huge exercise."
    Applying to be a Vancouver 2010 volunteer includes a number of steps.
Applicants start by registering online at or through Candidates then undergo pre-screening by phone
followed by a face-to-face interview, at which time VANOC confirms details
such as the applicant's availability, operational requirements, training
times, shift lengths and personal values. Orientation and service excellence
training, security clearance, job-specific and venue-specific training and
Games-time scheduling and outfitting will occur in the coming months.
    While building a highly capable and well-trained team of volunteers
during Games time is critical, the 2010 Winter Games have already benefited
from the efforts of hundreds of pre-Games volunteers, many of whom played a
significant role throughout the bid process, and continue to contribute to the
ongoing planning stages of the Games. Many of these active volunteers are
involved in the volunteer phone screening process and upcoming interviews.
    "When we call people and say 'it's regarding your application to
volunteer for the 2010 Winter Games,' you can almost hear people sit up
straight on the other end of the line - you can hear the excitement in their
voice," said Frank Parrotta, a pre-Games volunteer and team lead for phone
screening. "Sometimes we'll phone someone regarding a specific role, for
example International Client Services, and they don't understand what it is.
But once you describe it to them, they say, 'oh yeah I want to do that!'"

    Facts and figures about Vancouver 2010 volunteer applicants to date:

    -   Canadians make up 95 per cent of all applicants
    -   Of the total number of Canadians who have applied to volunteer:
        -  59 percent are from British Columbia
        -  20 percent are from Ontario
        -  8 percent are from Alberta
    -   International volunteer applications have been received from
        96 countries including Venezuela, Lithuania, Barbados and the
        Democratic Republic of the Congo
    -   38 per cent of the volunteer applicants who can speak French fluently
        are from British Columbia
    -   44 per cent of applicants are male and 56 per cent are female
    -   22 per cent of applicants are between the ages of 18 and 24
    -   Although the 2010 Winter Games are still 20 months away, VANOC
        currently has approximately 430 pre-Games volunteers actively engaged
        in planning the event

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jason Macnaughton, Vancouver
2010, (778) 328-6734,; Chris Brumwell,
Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6269,

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