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Leadership in Immigrant Recruitment – Small Enterprise

2019 Winner - Warm ‘n’ Cozy Personal Care Homes

At Warm ‘n’ Cozy Personal Care Homes, over 75% of the employees are immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds. Assistance and guidance are provided to help them navigate and access the many community programs available to them. Management is highly involved in on-boarding and training – ensuring that all team members have a good understanding of Canadian food, culture and language. Staff development is delivered in a social context and emphasizes teamwork built on collaboration. It is a process that underlines the common purpose of all staff members and the crucial role of individual knowledge and skills in delivering the assigned care to the residents. In addition to receiving ongoing individual coaching and mentoring, employees have opportunities for internal and external professional development and work shadowing. After being hired, each new employee receives a detailed orientation and is paired with a senior staff member as part of a mentoring program. Over time, senior staff continues to guide the new employees in acquiring skills and abilities and learning new approaches. Warm n’ Cozy is committed to providing its employees with developmental opportunities and supporting their efforts.

Leadership in Immigrant Recruitment – Large Enterprise

2019 Winner - Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen - Saskatoon

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen - Saskatoon is a franchise owned and operated by the AA Group of Companies. A point of pride and honour for the AA Group is that 88.2% of their employees and managers are immigrants. With this diverse employee base, they benefit from exposure to different methods of doing business. They work with new immigrants to help them do better not just in their work but also in their personal lives, by helping them find places of worship and grocery stores that offer items from the homeland. Their management team takes special care with training, for example by using more pictures or keywords and facilitating language acquisition if language is a barrier at the initial stages of employment. Newcomers are offered time off and support to attend SODS training programs or activities that might benefit them. The group has promoted many newcomers over the past year to management positions, where they can win further promotion to such high-profile positions as Area Trainer, District Manager, Director of Operations, and more. As the AA Group of Companies puts it, “Our people are our biggest asset and we are proud to be a world diversified workplace here in
Saskatoon and beyond.”

Excellence in Immigrant Integration – Small Enterprise

2019 Winner - Jerry’s Food Emporium

Jerry’s is celebrating 22 years in business in Saskatoon. 87% of Jerry’s Food Emporium’s employees are immigrants. As a local family-based company, Jerry’s values community above all else. For 10 years, workers arriving from the Philippines have been able to count on affinity groups that provide a strong support system. Community living exchanges include temporary housesharing, enabling newcomers to familiarize themselves with the new environment and build relationships, along with household goods exchanges and administrative mentorship and support. Employees are encouraged to invite family and friends to social and work-based events that provide networking opportunities. From day one, immigrant workers received hands-on training from company founders that transmitted the mission and values of inclusiveness, diversity, and respect. In turn, these key team members recruit more skilled workers and transmit the company’s culture and values. Cultural sensitivity training is ongoing -- from learning to walk on ice (!) to positively interacting with authorities, training is key to both celebrating our differences and bringing us together.

Excellence in Immigrant Integration – Large Enterprise Award

2019 Winner - Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC)

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) is one of Canada's leading providers of applied research, development and demonstration (RD&D), and technology commercialization. With more than 350 employees, 22% of whom self-identify as visible minorities, the company strives to build a diverse workforce fostering creativity and innovation. It has been registered with the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program for several years, supporting the permanent residency applications of its employees. In the past year, eight employees have made successful applications for nomination into the program. All new hires at SRC receive a warm welcome and specialized orientation. Recognizing the individual needs of its employees, SRC provides job coaching and skills training, as well as tuition subsidies for university courses including English as a Second Language. Company policies also encourage a positive work-life balance, from flexible work schedules to professional counselling for employees and their immediate family members. With 1,500 clients in 20 countries around the world, SRC recognizes the value of putting respect, diversity and inclusion at the core of its organizational culture.

Long-Term Employer Partner

2019 Winner - Royal Bank of Canada

A long-time partner of the Saskatoon Open Door Society (SODS), RBC takes great pride in collaborating with, employing and supporting our newcomer communities. Throughout its vibrant 20-year relationship with SODS, RBC has not only provided funding support but has continued to show up in meaningful ways to contribute time, skills, and resources. From participating in career fairs and providing skill development through mock interviews, to serving as an enthusiastic advocate in its hiring, RBC gives back, inspired by the organization’s incredible work, its tireless employees, and the determination of newcomers. In addition to the many financial services it provides in direct support of Canada’s diverse newcomer communities, RBC believes it is critical to reflect the communities it serves by employing a diverse and inclusive workforce. The principle of “Diversity and Inclusion” is more than one of RBC’s shared corporate values, it is a cornerstone for innovation and foundational to RBC’s strength. RBC is grateful to SODS for the work it does to make our province a more diverse and dynamic place to live, work and play.

Employer Partner of the Year

2019 Winner - Vendasta Technologies Inc.

Vendasta is a Saskatoon-based technology company that builds a software platform professional marketers use to support their local business clients. The company believes diversity leads to creativity, and strives to create an inclusive work environment. It invests in the Skills 4 Work program, conducting mock interviews and tours for people interested in learning how to get involved in the Saskatoon tech sector. Further, it participates in the WEconnect Job Fairs and hires new highly skilled workers through the SINP program. Through these efforts, Vendasta has been able to interview, hire, and support top talent. The company will assist newcomer employees to ensure that they have the support they need in transitioning to the community, including referrals to the Saskatoon Open Door Society, and investments in English courses and additional training when needed.

Newcomer Entrepreneur

2019 Winner - Tech Edge Ltd.

Tech Edge Ltd is owned by Mr. Zuhaib Jahangir, who moved to Canada with his family eight years ago. Tech Edge was established in 2016, and 83% of its employees are immigrants who are originally from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Tech Edge provides an in-house technician training program that has trained four technicians so far. Trainees get hands-on experience with the tools needed to build, upgrade or repair computers and cellphones. All employees are served tea and snacks each day. Tech Edge actively supports culture and sports in Saskatoon with sponsorships for community entertainment programs and two cricket clubs in the city, and it has been a proud sponsor of the WEconnect job fair. The company works with the Saskatoon Open Door Society and is always ready to take on new immigrants referred by SODS as trainees.

Individual Achievement in Immigrant Employment and Integration

2019 Winner - Ms. Shana Stevens

As a Leader for Virgin Mobile Canada, Shana Stevens strives to recruit and train a diverse team and foster an inclusive environment in her workplace and in her community. She works hard to bring together a team that is reflective of the community and is diverse in cultural background in order to foster a welcoming and accepting space, so that the company can better serve its members. Reflecting Virgin Mobile, which is recognized worldwide for promoting cultural diversity, Shana knows it is our differences that make us stronger. With a diverse staff, Virgin’s services can reach out and address a broader range of people, making it more accessible to our community. Shana works not only to hire new immigrants, but also to guide them as they transition into our community and to ensure ongoing support throughout their career with Virgin Mobile Canada.