EIF Funded Projects
The Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) is pleased to announce the awarding of $1.4 million from the Employer Innovation Fund (EIF) for 11 innovative projects to assist employers, industry and business associations in developing initiatives and resources to integrate skilled immigrants into BC workplaces.
The projects were funded in all regions of the province to employers, sector organizations and business associations. The EIF is intended to help BC employers develop new and innovative ways to address labour skills shortages and facilitate the integration of skilled new immigrants into their workplaces.
IEC-BC thanks the Government of Canada and the Province of BC for their generous support of the EIF initiative, as well as all applicants to the fund. Funding for the EIF was made possible through the Government of Canada and the Province of BC and through the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement.
The following is the list of projects funded by the EIF (organized by funding category). Click on the organization name to view each project and organization description or scroll down to view the entire list.
LEVEL ONE REGIONAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION CATEGORY (up to $200,000)
LEVEL ONE REGIONAL INDUSTRY/SECTORAL ORGANIZATION CATEGORY (up to $200,000)
LEVEL TWO REGIONAL EMPLOYER CATEGORY (up to $100,000)
LEVEL TWO REGIONAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION CATEGORY (up to $100,000)
LEVEL TWO REGIONAL INDUSTRY/SECTORAL ORGANIZATION CATEGORY (up to $100,000)
LEVEL THREE REGIONAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION CATEGORY (up to $50,000)
LEVEL ONE MAINLAND/SOUTHWEST CATEGORY (up to $200,000)
Project Description: The project involved conducting a community outreach campaign that aimed to recruit and retain skilled new immigrants and their families to Prince George. Targeting immigrant families in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, the project included ethno-specific media campaigns involving TV advertising, social media, video production and website development.
Organization: Representing its members, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce acts as a catalyst and information resource for the business community and promotes and improves trade, commerce and the economic, civic and social welfare within the City of Prince George and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.
ConsiderPG Digital Resources:
The videos tell the authentic stories of immigrants who have built successful careers and family lives in Prince George.
LEVEL ONE REGIONAL INDUSTRY/SECTORAL ORGANIZATION CATEGORY (up to $200,000)
BC Construction Association (BCCA) - Northeast and entire province
Project Description: The BCCA’s project involved the creation of comprehensive and interactive resources demonstrating best practices for engagement, recruitment, assessment and retention of immigrant employees in BC. Although a focus of the resource was on northern BC where demand for skilled labour is highest, toolkit materials included elements from each region and was relevant across the province.
Organization: BCCA is a non-profit organization representing approximately 2,000 companies in the construction industry that employs approximately 140,000 British Columbians. BCCA provides leadership in the presentation and services of BC’s industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential construction industry.
“New Canadians will play a key role in helping BC’s construction industry address a very real skilled worker shortage. Developing our project has confirmed the initial vision: that more “connectedness” between employers and immigrants is needed, and that our Hire Guide is coming at the right time.” – Manley McLachlan, BCCA President.
The Hire Guide, an interactive resource to help construction employers source skilled workers in an increasingly competitive market.
Northern Lights College (NLC) - Northern BC
Project Description: The project involved creating occupational performance standards and trial competency assessments for non-trades occupations in the Oil & Gas and Mining industries. This was a collaborative project between the college and industry sectors.
Organization: Northern Lights College is BC’s Energy College, serving northern British Columbians in an area covering more than 324,000 square kilometres. The college will collaborate with employers in the Oil & Gas and Mining industries that initiated this project as a direct response to their need to ensure sufficient workers are available for major projects and investments planned for Northern BC over the next twenty years.
Project Description: This project involved the development of a multilingual recruiting website targeted at immigrants and the creation of an inclusive onboarding program to support immigrant integration within the company. Through this project, Tolko also worked to reach and encourage immigrant youth to consider a career in its industry.
Organization: Tolko is a private, Canadian-owned forest products company based in Vernon, BC, which manufactures and markets forest products to world markets. Tolko’s manufacturing operations produce lumber, unbleached specialty kraft papers, panel products, co-products, biomass power and a number of other specialty wood products.
Project Description: The project involved designing and delivering workshops in a number of northern BC communities to inform employers about ways to use a competency-based approach for hiring new immigrants. The target audience for the workshops were employers, hiring managers, recruiters, and other personnel involved in attracting, hiring and retaining immigrants in the workplace.
Organization: Kitimat Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer not-for-profit association representing approximately 220 businesses and organizations in the community.
Central Interior Logging Association (CILA) - Cariboo
Project Description: CILA’s project developed an onboarding pilot program that provided on-the-job experience and mentoring, developed tools to build awareness and capacity for employers, and offered immigrants industry-specific training in a number of areas.
Organization: Representing some 200 members, CILA represents the forest harvesting sector across the central and northern interior regions of BC. CILA members include independent logging, log-hauling, road building, bio-mass producers and processors, woodlot owners, silviculture contractors, and service and supply companies from 100 Mile House in the south, to the Northwest Territories in the north, and from the Alberta border to the Hazeltons in the west.
Project Description: go2’s project addressed the Employer Innovation Fund’s themes of recruitment and retention, occupation-specific English language training, skill and credential assessment, and strategies that addressed employer demand for immigrants to have previous Canadian work experience. The project involved recruiting new immigrant professional cooks in the Lower Mainland who will be assessed, provided provincial credentials and language upgrading, and then placed with employers in positions matching the immigrants’ skills in the Kootenays and northern BC.
Organization: go2 is BC’s tourism and hospitality human resource association responsible for coordinating the BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy, a key component of the industry’s growth strategy. Tourism is one of the largest resource industries in BC comprising 18,000 mostly small to medium-sized businesses which directly employ close to 128,000 British Columbians. For more information, visit www.go2hr.ca.
Project Description: IPG’s project was a collaborative effort between employers, community agencies and educational institutions focussed on “bringing Prince George and its opportunities to skilled immigrants in the Lower Mainland.” Showcasing everything from jobs to housing to schools and settlement services to help encourage full family relocation, the project involved a virtual career fair to allow Lower Mainland immigrants the opportunity to “experience” Prince George without having to travel there. This project addressed challenges around distance and mobility as they relate to EIF themes of recruitment and capacity building support.
Organization: Initiatives Prince George is responsible for economic development in the City of Prince George. The organization aims to facilitate the growth and diversification of the Prince George economy and create new opportunities for local businesses.
Stories of people who have found success and happiness by moving to Prince George.
Project Description: The Campbell River & District Chamber’s project addressed the need for increased awareness of the value proposition of recruiting and retaining immigrants and provided employers, especially small and medium-sized businesses, with tools, resources and supports that will build employers’ capacities to hire new immigrants.
Organization: The Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce, through its leadership provides a strong voice that actively promotes a positive business climate that facilitates and nurtures a prosperous community and quality of life. The Chamber is committed to serve as a positive catalyst with tools, resources and services that focus on business and employer success, leading to sustainable community growth and development.
Project Description: BCTA’s project addressed the Employer Innovation Fund’s themes of capacity building support for the industry and the creation of tools and strategies to assist employers to assess the equivalency of foreign credentials and qualifications. The project’s activities included developing and piloting a Truck Driver Skill and Experience Assessment tool to evaluate important vocational knowledge, skills, and abilities deemed important by BC trucking employers.
Organization: BCTA is a non-profit, non-partisan industry advocacy association that represents its members with all levels of government. Its purpose is to facilitate communications and consultation between the trucking industry and government, raise public awareness about the importance and role of the trucking sector in the economy, and provide programs and services to its members to support their business activities. BCTA promotes a prosperous, safe, efficient and responsible commercial road transportation industry.
"The Employer Innovation Fund from IEC-BC is facilitating the BC trucking industry in hiring more immigrant truck drivers by helping employers better understand an immigrant applicant’s skill and experience. These tools will be valuable in addressing the skills shortage of truck drivers in BC and as a model for other sectors that experience challenges in understanding non-Canadian work experience. " (BCTA)
Project Description: The Surrey Board of Trade piloted a 12 month employer-focused program to assist small and medium-sized businesses to integrate immigrants into their labour pool. The project involved workshops, resources navigation, and immigrant HR support for members (with a “one-on-one hands on approach" by a roving HR specialist).
Organization: The Surrey Board of Trade is a not-for-profit organization that represents 3,600 member contacts and 1900 businesses. Its purpose is to advocate at all levels of government, facilitate networking opportunities and provide cost-saving benefits and marketing opportunities to its members. The Surrey Board of Trade supports and attracts business.
The Employer Roadmap below is a step-by-step interactive guide with comprehensive strategies and tools to help businesses enhance their human resources planning and practice, from recruiting to retaining skilled immigrants.
Developing Effective Job Descriptions & Specifications
Uncovering the real candidate
Behavioural interview sample questions
Pre-interviewing preparation for immigrants
To be eligible for funding consideration, applications were assessed on a variety of factors including organizational capacity, project innovation and alignment with core funding priorities in four funding streams.
As outlined in the Call for Applications (point 4.4), as there were insufficient numbers of qualified applications in some of the streams and funding-level categories, IEC-BC reallocated uncommitted funds between categories, which permitted the awarding of funds to more than just one project in the Regional Industry/Sectoral Level 1 & 2 categories and the Mainland/Southwest Level 1 funding category.