2018 ERIEC Awards & Recognition Event
Last Tuesday, May 15th members of the Edmonton business community and internationally educated professionals gathered together at Sutton Place Hotel to celebrate Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council’s ten years of mentorship and networking successes as well as honoring the collaborations of our Edmonton employer partners.
Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) recognized the many mentors, networkers and employers for their dedication and commitment to creating inclusive and diverse workplaces for our untapped pool of immigrant talent based here in Edmonton.
Over 750 mentorship matches have been made by ERIEC. 78% of mentees found professional jobs in their fields. Over 510 mentors from 130 organizations, volunteering over 16,600 hours. Over 3,500 participants have taken part in networking events, leading to over 700 employer-employee connections. These are significant statistics and outcomes considering it is our 10th year of service which truly could not have been accomplished without the mentors, the organizations supporting the mentees, and the networking events that it organizes to help professional newcomers secure employment in their fields here in Canada.
One of the event participants said that “we do not look any older than 9 years….” and another was surprised that “ERIEC accomplishes so much with only a team of 6 people!” We are very proud of the accumulative impacts our organization has been able to make.
Don Crothers, Senior Business Development Trainer at Stantec and an ERIEC Board Member was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. After a brief introduction Don introduced Minister Christina Gray to provide her welcome on behalf of the GOA Ministry of Labor. Following the Minister was City of Edmonton Councillor Jon Dziadyk who also provided a welcome from the City.
ERIEC Program Directors Tetyana Khramova and Elena Chernaeva provided an overview of the outcomes and successes achieved in the last year as well as aggregate data since the inception of both programs. Star awards were given to mentors who have mentored more than one mentee (Two Star Mentors) up to one individual who has championed and mentored 12 times. Inspirational speeches were provided by both a mentor and mentee representative.
“I applied for the ERIEC Mentorship program where I was connected to a mentor. My mentor was a very nice young vibrant individual whose Dad was once in my shoes – a foreigner trying to secure a job for himself. My Mentor was very helpful. He also helped to increase my network base by connecting me with his professional network base. Through the network, I had the opportunity to meet with his direct supervisor and fortunately for me, some positions were advertised in the organization which fit my experience. I am really grateful once again to have, through the mentorship program secured myself a job in my area of expertise”. Abiudun Adekunle, Environmental Engineer (Nigeria).
Tonya Holowitski of Robert Half Management Consulting, one of the recipients of the Networking Star Award, provided a very inspirational speech emphasizing to all employers of the benefits in volunteering with ERIEC and encouraged them to actively participate in both program streams.
To complete the evening, Mr. Doug Piquette, Executive Director of ERIEC, presented the ERIEC Partnership recognition awards: seven beautiful hand blown glass awards (designed by glass artist Keith Walker) to the winners: TELUS, Stantec, Enbridge, Deloitte, City of Edmonton, Robert Half and AECOM.
Doug addressed the crowd of 130 on the importance of employer partnerships and their engagement and how their involvement impacts the two ERIEC programming streams. ERIEC has worked with over 150 businesses during its 10 year history. The 7 major partner employer award recipients and their representatives have demonstrated their passion and dedication by partnering with ERIEC and have helped to champion our mission. These employers are diversity leaders here in the Edmonton region and have:
- created and maintained a workplace where immigrant employees feel valued
- recognized the value of support & training for their staff in accepting and welcoming immigrant staff
- have shared attraction, hiring and retention best practices with other employers and organizations
- utilized mentorship and networking for onboarding the new immigrant hires and;
- understand and address some of the barriers that exist for immigrant employees
Doug thanked the employers as well as program funders, Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministry of Labor, for their on-going support of the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council.
The ERIEC Board of Directors and staff are thankful to all of our partners, mentors, mentees and to the guests who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the event. We are also pleased to have met the many invited peers and colleagues of the mentors who were also in attendance.
We look forward to your support in the future as we evolve and grow our organization and our programs as we strive for another 10 year celebration!