Dispatches from Canadian cities

May 19th, 2010

From recent immigrant to integrated citizen: cities across Canada share solutions that work

Local leaders in cities across Canada take action to integrate skilled newcomers into the workplace to ensure future prosperity in our cities and communities.

On May 6th and 7th, 175 delegates from urban communities across Canada met in Halifax at the 2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange to share and discuss practical and successful solutions for immigrant employment that can be adapted to other cities.

“Through ALLIES, we are proud to be building a pan-Canadian project that is connecting employers across the country and leveraging their capacity to tap into the talents of skilled immigrants,” said Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree.

In Halifax, the Connector program has opened professional networks to over 100 skilled newcomers in the past year.

In Edmonton recent immigrants are matched to professionals in their field through mentoring. In Montreal, employers are sharing their best practices on the recruitment and retention of skilled workers through round tables.

In Calgary, an immigrant employment council is bringing employers and immigrant agencies together for a coordinated approach to mentoring.

In Toronto, employers who actively embrace newcomers are recognized in a yearly award ceremony.

Across the country, online videos and roadmaps guide employers to recruit diverse employees through www.hireimmigrants.ca.

The ALLIES 2010 Learning Exchange is a catalyst for sharing ideas, connecting with others, and inspiring action from the participants from 12 cities across Canada. Funded by the Government of Canada and hosted by ALLIES, a joint project of Maytree and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the 2010 Learning Exchange will allow delegates to learn how to engage employers, set up successful and sustainable programs, and work with all levels of government.

By 2011, Canada will rely 100% on immigrants for our net labour market growth. Proactive local action is key to ensuring that the integration of this new labour force is as seamless as possible.

Details on the 2010 Learning Exchange can be found at here.

ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies) is a five-year project jointly funded by Maytree and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. ALLIES provides the information, learning and funding required by communities to adapt and implement successful immigrant employment approaches used by multi-stakeholder initiatives across the country. The project brings local players together to develop their own practical solutions for the integration of skilled immigrants into the labour market.

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