Hire Immigrants Ottawa Receives Funding to Develop Collaborative Model for Mentoring Programs for Immigrants

Monday, August 15, 2011, Ottawa – Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO), a community-wide initiative of United Way Ottawa, has received $50,500 from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to develop a coordinated approach to mentoring programs for immigrants in Ottawa.

“Ottawa attracts immigrants who are typically highly educated, but who face challenges entering the labour force,” says Henry Akanko, Director, HIO. “It is a waste of talent if we cannot effectively support their integration into the local labour market and economy.”

With rising retirement rates and declining numbers of new workforce entrants, Ottawa will be competing with other cities to attract and retain talent. Effective mentoring programs will help immigrants build networks, understand the Canadian workplace and learn how to find work in their sector.

According to the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), which runs a career mentoring program, 62 percent of skilled immigrants who participated in their program, secure employment in their field.

HIO will work with OCISO, Algonquin College, the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA, LASI WorldSkills, La Cité collégiale, and Le Conseil Economique & Social d‘Ottawa Carleton to develop a collaborative delivery model for mentoring programs in Ottawa.

The leadership role that HIO is taking to develop a more effective framework for mentoring programs is an example of how United Way Ottawa is bringing people and agencies together to make systemic change that will help us reach our goal of finding employment for immigrants,” says Michael Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Ottawa.

About Hire Immigrants Ottawa:
HIO enhances employers’ capacity to attract and integrate skilled immigrants into their workplaces by providing tools and resources including cross-cultural competency workshops, information sessions, networking and coaching events that bring employers and immigrants together. Employers engaged with HIO have hired more than 1000 skilled immigrants for skills-appropriate positions over the past four years.

HIO is funded by the Government of Ontario and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

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For further information, please contact:

Melinda Buijs, Manager of Communications and Marketing, Hire Immigrants Ottawa

Phone: 613-683-3882

Twitter: @HireImmOttawa

E-mail: mbuijs@hireimmigrantsottawa.ca

Website: www.hireimmigrantsottawa.ca


Barry Keegan, Manager, Media and Communications, United Way Ottawa

Phone: 613-228-6709; Mobile: 613-294-8128
Twitter: @UnitedWayOttawa or @barry_keegan
E-mail: bkeegan@unitedwayottawa.ca
Website: www.unitedwayottawa.ca

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