Tolko receives funding to attract and integrate skilled immigrants


Tolko receives funding to help attract and integrate skilled immigrants

VANCOUVER, BC – The Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) today announced that Tolko Industries is one of 11 organizations to be awarded funding from the $1.4 million Employer Innovation Fund (EIF) to help develop initiatives and resources to attract and integrate skilled immigrants into BC workplaces.

The Tolko project will involve the development of a multilingual recruiting website targeted at immigrants and the creation of an inclusive onboarding program to support immigrant integration with the company. Through this project, Tolko will also work to reach and encourage immigrant youth to consider a career in the forest products sector.

Other EIF projects that received funding include the creation of resources to assist employers in assessing foreign qualifications, an onboarding program that helps employers integrate skilled immigrants into the workplace and outreach campaigns to recruit and retain skilled new immigrants to a community and an industry.

“I’d like to congratulate the 11 organizations that were selected to receive funding through the Employer Innovation Fund,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Employers understand the challenges in hiring, retaining and integrating immigrants into their workplaces, and these projects will help employers engage in the development of programs, resources and tools to allow them to better facilitate immigrant employment in meeting labour market challenges.”

Funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC through the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement, the Employer Innovation Fund was announced at the 2012 Leaders’ Summit on Immigrant Employment hosted by IEC-BC in the fall. EIF projects, which are employer-led, employer-driven and address employer needs to effectively attract, hire and retain skilled immigrants in BC workplaces, were funded in all regions of the province and in six key industry sectors to employers, sector organizations and business associations.

“The EIF is a unique fund that will help connect employers seeking skilled talent and BC’s skilled immigrants who are not working or who are under- unemployed,” said Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. “These projects will go a long way to helping BC employers develop new and innovative ways to address labour skills shortages and facilitate the integration of skilled new immigrants into their workplaces.”

With more than one million job openings in the next decade due to an aging workforce and economic growth, skilled immigrant talent is needed to address the labour skills shortage and demand for skilled workers in BC.

“Tolko is happy to be selected as one of 11 innovative projects under the Employer Innovation Fund (EIF),” said Tanya Wick, vice president of human resources. “Our industry is experiencing rejuvenation and offers many new and exciting career opportunities. With the competition for talent heating up across Canada we believe that businesses which attract retain and engage a diverse workforce will be at a distinct competitive advantage. This project is one of several progressive recruitment strategies we are employing. It serves as a timely call to action for Tolko, and for our industry and community partners, around creating and maximizing opportunities for new immigrants to BC.”

In the awarding of EIF funding, priority was given to projects that impact more than just one employer, show the potential for sustainability post-project, focus on hiring and retaining immigrants who are permanent residents of BC, and demonstrate a direct benefit to small and medium-size businesses.

For a complete list of EIF-funded projects, visit initiatives/employer-innovation-fund


Learn More: The Immigrant Employment Council of BC stimulates the integration of skilled-immigrant talent into the province’s workforce by fostering solutions, building connections and being a champion to help employers attract and retain immigrants.

Karen Zukas Immigrant Employment Council of BC Communications Manager
Direct: 604 630-5018

Cell: 604 218-3487

Jeanette Hoft CMRP, APR Tolko Industries Ltd. Communications Manager
Direct: (250) 549-5341

Cell: (250) 215-3623

Janice Lockyer Tolko Industries Ltd. Communications Advisor
Direct: (250) 550-2598

Cell: (250) 306-0920