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Leadership in Immigrant Employment | Small Enterprise

2018 Winner - Jerry's Food Emporium

87% of Jerry’s Food Emporium’s employees are immigrants. Over the past 10 years, the company has developed a strong and credible reputation as a successful immigration employer, especially in the Filipino community. At first, the company partnered with a local recruitment organization run by immigrants who had established a networking initiative through their church. Since then, the employees themselves have begun to recruit new workers and Jerry’s has initiated a referral program in Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines. Immigrant recruitment is one of the business’s core values and part of its growth strategy. They now work with immigration consultants, including a local Filipino immigration services company, and through provincial and federal government programs. They have implemented financial aid programs to assist with immigration expenses such as transportation, moving expenses, administrative and legal services, family support, and so on. Jerry’s recruits skilled workers and top managers, some of whom are now part owners of the company and happy to live their passion.

Leadership in Immigrant Employment | Large Enterprise

2018 Winner - Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre

49% of The Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre employees are immigrants. The company works with One Stop Ltd., a service for immigrants seeking employment and sponsorship. They have hired employees referred by the Open Door Society as well as the Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s hospitality programs. The Saskatoon Inn has five nominees going through the SINP Process, two of whom will obtain their PR status in the next few months. They offer ongoing job training to help employees grow in the company and develop more experience in their particular field. Currently they have employees who have been selected for supervisor and department manager roles, as well as previous SINPs in management who are now PRs. There is a lot of room to grow in the hospitality sector, as hotel management involves multiple departments and functions.

Excellence in Immigrant Integration | Small Enterprise

2018 Winner - 7shifts Employee Scheduling Software Inc.

Between its offices in Saskatoon and Toronto, 7shifts has 53 employees, 9 of whom were born outside Canada (17%). These employees are originally from India, South Africa, Chile, Poland, Germany and Serbia. 7shifts conducts interviews domestically and internationally via video conferencing. It assists with moving expenses and the immigration process, which was completed for an employee from Chile last September. Employees receive full orientation, with an “onboarding buddy” initiative in place. Every Friday, the company treats all employees to culturally sensitive catered lunches with pork-free, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The company offers paid language classes if required and a minimum of 4 weeks’ paid vacations from the first year of employment, making it easier for those who wish to vacation in their homeland.

Excellence in Immigrant Integration | Large Enterprise

2018 Winner 1 - The Home Depot

The Home Depot of Canada offers a welcoming and accommodating environment in their stores and to all of their associates. They strive to foster an inclusive workplace where people of all different abilities are able to achieve success and reach their full potential, and their associates receive the training they need to learn, grow and succeed. With “Respect for All People” being one of their company core values, the Home Depot Canada remains dedicated to providing an inclusive workforce that reflects their diverse customer base. In fact, associates across Canada wear “We Speak” badges to tell clients which languages they know, and there are billboards around the store displaying associates’ photos and the languages in which they are proficient.

Excellence in Immigrant Integration | Large Enterprise

2018 Winner 2 - Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

30% of the staff members at Maple Leaf’s Saskatoon plant are immigrants. The company frequently organizes employer information sessions for newcomers with SODS and takes part in our job fairs. They provide mandatory training in Food Safety and in Health and Safety and offer free online courses through the union. They participate in our mock-interview sessions with newcomers and, on site, post SODS information on billboards. Maple Leaf promotes career advancement -- job opportunities, from entry-level to management positions, are open to all staff members, who are encouraged to apply for higher-paid positions within the company. When celebrating team efforts and special occasions, halal and vegetarian options are always on offer. Employees are given flexible schedules to accommodate childcare and transportation needs. Maple Leaf’s plant is a unionized facility, and new employees have many opportunities to sign up for different committees.

SODS Employer Partner of the Year

2018 Winner - Vendasta Technologies Inc.

Technology has changed the game for traditional media like newspapers, TV and radio. Operating in a global market with an increasingly diverse customer base, to tap into new local markets Vendasta not only gains broader perspective and knowledge, but also achieves its competitive edge, by putting together a team composed of staff from different cultural backgrounds. In order to achieve this success, Vendasta has been strongly focused on attracting top talent. This includes new immigrants to Saskatoon and Saskatchewan with experience in technology. Over the past year, Vendasta has taken part in mock interviews in our Skill for Work program and participated in two of our We Connect Job Fairs. It participated in a panel at the 2017 Annual Integration Summit of Saskatchewan. Vendasta is committed to providing ongoing learning opportunities for its staff and allocates a large part of its budget to continuing education and attendance at conferences. Vendasta has also offered language classes free of charge to its employees through the University of Saskatchewan.

Long-term Employer Partner

2018 Winner - The Saskatoon Co-operative Ltd.

The Saskatoon Co-op has partnered with the Saskatoon Open Door Society for over six years. They are committed to workforce diversity, and over 125 of their employees self-identify as members of visible minorities, Aboriginal or disabled. They work with International Women of Saskatoon, Partners in Employment and other community groups to provide work placements and mentorships to newcomers, and they attend job fairs specific to this demographic. They offer a public transit program and multiple training opportunities.

Individual Achievement in Immigrant Employment and Integration

2018 Winner - Mr. Jim Bence

In order to make Saskatoon’s hospitality industry an inclusive one, Jim proposed hospitality training in partnership with the Saskatoon Open Door Society, Global Gathering Place, SHHA, SHSA, STEC and Airline Hotel Group. He forged a partnership with the Travelodge Hotel to arrange classroom space for language training, a program for hands-on, in-room workplace training and a one-week workplace practicum.