Over 150 guests attended IEC-BC’s Open House, as the organization officially launched its 10-year anniversary celebrations on May 9, 2018. It was an opportunity to reflect on a remarkable journey and share its vision for the future.
IEC-BC was launched at the Metro Vancouver Summit on Immigrant Employment in October 2008. It started off as an initiative of the Vancouver Foundation, and has since grown to be an independent not-for-profit organization. In the past 10 years, it has given hundreds of BC employers the tools and resources they need to hire and retain the newcomers they need to grow their business and advance BC’s economy.
Some of IEC-BC’s most notable achievements include:
- engaging over 700 employers, most of them SMEs, in a variety of programs and initiatives;
- commissioning the first comprehensive province-wide consultation of BC employers to hear their thoughts on attracting and recruiting skilled immigrant talent to address key labour challenges;
- convening stakeholders in northern BC to help employers access global talent;
- managing the Employer Innovation Fund, which awarded $1.4 million to employer-led projects that developed initiatives and resources for integrating skilled immigrants into BC workplaces;
- steering the MentorConnect Program, with more than 700 mentoring matches leading 70 percent of participants to employment in their chosen field;
- developing FAST, an innovative program that offers comprehensive pre-arrival employment preparation support to immigrant workers from in 68 occupations in the skilled trades, IT and Data Services, and Biotechnology and Life Sciences; and,
- launching BC JobConnect – an online forum for newcomers to present their skills to hiring employers across BC.
“We want talented people from all over the world to think of BC first when they are looking for a new home, and we are doubling down on our commitment to help BC employers grown and prosper,” said IEC-BC CEO Patrick MacKenzie at the event. “By helping immigrants better understand how their skills fir with the labour market and making it easier for employers to understand the skills and newcomers bring, we are making a real difference.”