Backgrounder Article from  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

2016 Employer Awards for Refugee Employment

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has partnered with Hire Immigrants Ottawa to recognize private businesses that successfully support the integration of refugees into Canada’s labour market. Based on nominations from service provider organizations, three businesses have been awarded the 2016 Employer Award for Refugee Employment.

When refugees are resettled to Canada, the Government of Canada and partner organizations attempt to resettle them in communities where there is a demand for the skills and work experience they bring. While employment opportunities vary depending on regional and national economic fluctuations, efforts are made to help connect refugees with potential employers.

These awards recognize the significant contribution of employers to support the integration of refugees and hope to encourage other employers to do the same. Helping refugees with employment gives them an opportunity to better integrate into society and to contribute to the Canadian economy.

About the winners

Cinnaroll Bakeries Ltd. (Calgary, Alberta) — nominated by Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)

  • Established 28 years ago, Cinnaroll Bakeries Ltd. employs 110 people directly with an additional 100 employees hired through Canadian franchise partners.
  • Since December 2012, Cinnaroll Bakeries Ltd. has been partnering with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society to better understand the obstacles faced by refugees upon entering the work force. Their staff supervisors take extra time and consideration when training employees who were formerly refugees. Cinnaroll Bakeries Ltd. also provides supports for transportation and arranges flexible work schedules to allow for language and skills training.
  • Since 2012, Cinnaroll Bakeries Ltd. has hired 41 newcomers referred from the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, including 15 refugees.

Highline Mushrooms (Leamington, Ontario) — nominated by the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County

  • Founded in 1961, Highline Mushrooms employs 1,250 employees across four facilities in Ontario as well as a distribution centre in Montreal.
  • Highline Mushrooms hires refugees and provides interpretation services during the interview process. Before being hired, refugees are offered opportunities to job shadow other employees from the same community and to try the tasks, which has resulted in reduced turnover rates once candidates are hired. Highline offers transportation subsidies and scholarships to attend post-secondary education and summer jobs for children of employees.
  • In March 2015, Highline Mushrooms hosted a career pathway session for refugees, and hired seven of the 25 government-assisted refugees who attended the session.

Prince George Hotel (Halifax, Nova Scotia) — nominated by the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

  • Established in 1986, the Prince George Hotel has over 200 rooms.
  • The Prince George Hotel hires refugee clients of the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia for positions, including room attendants, kitchen staff and front desk agents. The hotel hires refugees with a range of language abilities (including beginner English language skills).
  • The Prince George Hotel was one of the first companies in Halifax to offer workplace education, specifically English language training, for new employees. The company has hired refugees from many countries including Colombia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Vietnam.

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