Priorities & Projects
Employment Related Initiatives
From 2017-2019, Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership collaborated with community partners, employers and entrepreneurs in unique initiatives to support newcomers’ employment goals. By creating opportunities for connections with employers and other entrepreneurs, newcomers are able to expand their networks and gain confidence in the Canadian labour market.
Tri-Cities Newcomer Employment Week
Employment Week took place in 2018 and 2019 with the aim of supporting newcomers in their employment goals by creating networking opportunities among immigrants, service providers, and employers.
33 employment-related activities including workshops, networking, employer connections events and a hiring fair over the span of 4 days supported 270 newcomers during the first Tri-Cities Newcomer Employment Week in 2018.
In 2019, Newcomer Employment Week featured an inspirational keynote speech from Maylen Crespo; an employer panel with representatives from small to large business, government and non-profit employers; a networking workshop; a speed-networking activity and a resume clinic and resource fair. The rest of the week was dedicated to workplace tours for jobseekers to learn more about local employers, their workplace culture and the recruiting process. The tours took place at several Tri-Cities-based business and organizations across a wide variety of sectors including hospitality, education, government, retail, health, and financial services.
In collaboration with our partners and guided by Immigrant Advisory table members, Tri-Cities Newcomer Employment Week was able to increase the confidence of newcomers in the Canadian labour market, and expand opportunities to connect with service providers and employers.
Journeys to Entrepreneurship
Innovation, resilience and inspiration are keys to successful self-employment. In the Tri-Cities, 11% of newcomers become self-employed. During this event, newcomers wishing to start their business heard from successful immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals, and connected with services that would support their self-employment goals.
Social Inclusion of Newcomers
We Bring Strength: Refugee Success Stories
This immigration settlement campaign was delivered in November 2017 during BC Multiculturalism Week to share the inspiring stories of refugees in our community and their powerful commitment to their new home: the Tri-Cities.
We Bring Strength
Diversity brings strength, resilience and hope in the Tri-Cities communities. We are proud to call the Tri-Cities our home. Read the following Refugee Success Stories to understand how refugees bring resilience to our communities.
“Canada has provided me with a safe and secure life. It has given me the belief to succeed and to find my way, my passion, myself. These were opportunities I did not have in my home country.”
Canada has provided me with a safe and secure life. There are plenty of opportunities to develop my skills. Learning English in the Tri-Cities was a good starting point which helped me. Because of this, I could find out more about different colleges and different subjects so I can pursue my education.
I am now studying to become a pilot. I am now able to trust and believe in myself and have faith that I can succeed; these are opportunities that I did not have in my home country. If you really want something, you have to believe in yourself and do it. Find your way, your passion, your life, yourself.
“I do not know where I would be today if not for the amazing support system I received from many Tri-Cities organizations. Their support has helped me to achieve my goal of learning English and has allowed me and my children to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle.”
When my family and I came to the Tri-Cities, we faced a warm welcome from the community. As a single mother of two, I received support from many community organizations to help me find information that I needed so I can start my new life in Canada.
I began learning English when I arrived and now, I can take accounting courses at BCIT. I truly appreciate the available support for newcomers to help them stand on their own two feet in order to have a better role in society. This support has helped me achieve many goals and has allowed me to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle. I started working out and hiking, and my son joined the local soccer club and enjoys it very much. Despite facing many challenges, I am very happy and thankful to be in such a peaceful and exceptional country like Canada. I do not know where I would be today if I did not have such an amazing support system.
“I came to Canada without knowing the language and I attended all my English classes. After 3 years, I received my high school diploma. I have recently graduated from the Security Systems Technician program at BCIT. I am optimistic about my future and believe that my success is about to begin. Diligence brings success and that’s the key to achieve our goals.”
Coming to Canada was new, challenging and exciting. I tried to learn the new culture and the language to make connections and to communicate with others. I accepted the differences and respected them which was the first step for me. I attended all my English classes which I started from level one and after a few months, I registered for adult foundation classes. After 3 years, I received my high school diploma. I then decided to take the Security Systems Technician program at BCIT and am proud to be one of 10 students who have recently graduated from the intensive and challenging program. I am very happy and optimistic about my future now that I have achieved my dream of going to college. I am thankful to my family and the community for helping me and providing me with valuable information so I can pursue my dreams. Diligence brings success and that’s the key to achieve our goals.
“After coming to Canada, I worked hard to learn English and make many Canadian friends. I volunteered with many organizations and was recently hired by a local company. My favourite thing about Canada is the lovely people who have helped me and my children so much. My children will have a good future in a safe place.”
After coming to Canada, I worked hard to learn English and make many Canadian friends. Through this process, I have volunteered with many organizations and have met many people who have helped make the Tri-Cities our home and have welcomed my family.
Recently, I was hired by a local company in their accounting department, which was the field I worked on in my home country, and was gifted a car by a local church ministry. I was also nominated for the Women’s Collaborative Hub Women’s Influencers Award.
“Anyone can achieve anything they want in any stage of their life and we should strive to help others in the community and use the available resources to improve ourselves. Today, I call Canada my second home and my goal is to make Canada an even better place.”
Initially, we had many challenges settling in Canada such as housing, securing employment, integrating in a different culture, lack of awareness about the legal system and available social services. However, one of the biggest challenges for me was language. Despite that I knew some English coming to Canada, it wasn’t adequate for employment opportunities.
I took many language classes to help build my skills and my employability.
One year later, I started working in the services industry which helped not only improve my English, but also increased my confidence and networking skills. I also started watching television and started reading the newspaper. Currently, I work in retail and I can communicate clearly with customers and co-workers.
The key to success is the individual’s mindset and awareness about how to use the available services when starting a new life in a new country. Asking for help is very important for a limited time, but you will have to stand on your own feet as soon as possible so that you can help others. Anyone can achieve anything they want in any stage of their life and we should strive to help others in the community and use the available resources to improve ourselves.
Today, I call Canada my second home and my goal is to make Canada an even better place by using my skills that I have learned in the process of settling in Canada.
“Canada has provided me a chance to study and improve myself, and most importantly, a safe place to live for my family. I continue to work on myself to achieve the success that I want. I am attending English classes, and I facilitate a seniors’ group.”
I like everything in Canada especially how people from various cultures can live together like a big family. Everyone accepts and respects other cultures. I like how friendly the people are. Canada provided a lot of things to me: the most important thing is a safe place to live for my family. Canada has provided me a chance to study and improve myself through workshops and classes. I continue to work on myself to achieve the success that I want. Now, I am attending an English course at Douglas College and I facilitate a local seniors’ group.
“Brave is not the one who can run to the end, but the brave who can run to the end even after falling. I just want to say thank you to this wonderful country which has a lot of humanity. I love and adore Canada.”
I just want to say thank you to this wonderful country which has a lot of humanity. I love and adore Canada. I recently participated in the Terry Fox Hometown run and his story reminded me of bravery and determination, values that many refugees and immigrants face when they come to a new country. I am learning English and volunteering in the community. I am hopeful that my family will have a positive future here.
Tri-Cities Welcoming Communities Project (TCWCP) 2007 - 2014
The Tri-Cities Welcoming Communities Project (TCWCP) was a collaboration between twenty-one community and government stakeholders with the mandate of helping newcomers settle in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. This project ended in 2014 and the partnership transitioned to the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership. This section includes details about past TCWCP projects, evaluations of community efforts, demographics, municipal services and recreation programs, population distribution, languages spoken, multicultural policies and plans and much more.
These fact sheets contain information from six different community profiles: immigrant youth, immigrants and employment, immigrant seniors, immigrant volunteerism, refugees and North Road’s emergence as a Korean district, based on 2011 Census data.
2013 (Winter): How Welcoming Are The Tri-Cities?
2013 (Summer): North Road’s New Flavour: The First Road North of the Fraser River was in decline until an influx of Koreans revived it.
2013 (Fall): The Road From Bhutan: The planned arrival in Tri-Cities of several hundred Bhutanese refugees from Nepal sparked unprecedented preparations. Five years later, there have been many twists and turns.
2014 (Winter): The Case Of The Older Newcomer: Immigrant seniors fall through a lot of cracks. But the cracks are beginning to be filled.
2014 (Spring): Starting Them Young: An array of programs – and a small army of workers and volunteers – are geared to making school the best years of newcomers’ lives, not the toughest.
Immigrants + Help = A More Efficient Labour Market
The Right Workers In The Right Place At The Right Time: How Canada’s immigration system responds to labour markets and economic demand
Community Input and Feedback on the Tri-Cities Refugee Support Forum
In March 2014, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce brought local businesses and immigrants together in a forum to discuss challenges faced in the workforce. The forum launched a public dialogue about the skills that immigrants can bring to the economy and also the challenges that they face when searching for employment. This event also helped newcomers understand the types of skills that businesses are looking for. The initiative sought to close the gap between skills shortages and the struggle that some immigrants experience in obtaining work when they move to the Tri-Cities.
Multi-service agency S.U.C.C.E.S.S facilitated this project for the Tri-Cities Planning Committee. The project included three stages: a dialogue on integration, training and placement, and evaluation, monitoring and development of a model for Welcoming and Inclusive Community and Workplace. The project, as a whole, sought to find successful ways to integrate workers, from different cultures, into the workforce.
The Centre for Health and Community Partnerships at Douglas College completed a Literature Review: Indicators of a Diverse and Inclusive Workshop. The document identified potential indicators of a diverse, culturally competent and inclusive workplace in order to evaluate the work done by the Welcoming and Inclusive Community and Workplace Demonstration Project (WICWP).
In 2007, the Tri-Cities Community Planning Committee hosted a Roundtable on Human Resource to discuss a necessity for partnering organizations to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse communities. A significant language and culture gap was identified. This resulted in four organizational dialogue sessions. The second part of the project involved placing internationally trained human service professionals into the workforce. The participants also attended two classes: introduction to community and English for internationally-trained professionals. The in-field mentoring created successful dialogues.
The Tri-Cities Intercultural Workplace Project (TIWP) was an innovative project that acted as a catalyst for transformation of human service organizations whereby organizations, their staff and internationally trained professionals utilized their knowledge and experience to engage in multi-directional integration and culturally competent collaboration and service. This immigration services project was a response to the pressing need for local agencies and institutions to be responsive, welcoming and inclusive to the significant multicultural population in this community. Project partners collaboratively worked together to create welcoming and inclusive workplaces and to develop promising practices and policies for recruitment and retention of internationally trained human service workers.