Workforce Development

Communities around B.C. are trying different ways to help businesses meet their workforce needs. In this section, see how communities are supporting workers by creating partnerships, supporting skills development, building immigration programs, increasing job access, and more.

Planning for the Workforce of Tomorrow Through Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships – Surrey

The City of Surrey is working with businesses, academic and industry groups on a strategy to enhance the skilled workforce in the advanced manufacturing and innovation economy sector.

Overcoming Disabilities and Mental Health Challenges to Attain Satisfying Employment – Victoria

Noticing a gap in the employment market for youth with disabilities and mental health challenges, CanAssist at the University of Victoria created the TeenWork program. TeenWork assists individuals aged 15-19 who are enrolled in high school to find meaningful employment through opportunities and relationships with local businesses.

How Go-karts Improve Education Outcomes and Build Community – Tumbler Ridge

Tumbler Ridge Secondary School had been working hard to create opportunities for students and the community. They found an innovative, novel solution in the Conuma Challenge, a go-kart race among Grade 9 students. The challenge has given the school a way to illuminate new directions for their students, brought the community closer together, and amplified the wave of economic optimism running through the town.

Workforce Development Partnership Reaching New Heights – Kelowna

Through a close relationship with KF Aerospace, Okanagan College has been training aerospace maintenance engineers for years, but the company’s need for skilled graduates was outpacing the training program’s capacity. Rather than trying to recruit new workers from outside the region, KF Aerospace sat down with the college and found a way to solve the problem through strengthening the partnerships that existed already.  Okanagan College has doubled the number of graduates that KF Aerospace can hire, and the region is well-positioned to fill the almost 300 aerospace maintenance engineer jobs openings expected to appear by 2027. 

Building a Competitive Local Film Industry through Workforce Training – North Central Vancouver Island

With B.C.’s Lower Mainland dominating the film industry and a shifting job market for local tradespeople, the Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm) and North Island College seized the opportunity to create a labour force of well-trained film workers right on Vancouver Island.

Growing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in Rural B.C. – Nechako Lakes

Nechako Lakes School District held its first technology and entrepreneurship summit for secondary and elementary students in October 2017 to start growing the next generation of entrepreneurs in rural B.C. Through the iCubed Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit, Nechako Lakes School District challenged its students to consider new career paths in tech and entrepreneurship. Local entrepreneurs and industry exhibits helped inspire students to think big and proved their commitment to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs… and the long-term economic outlook of the Nechako Lakes region.

The Whistler Experience Optimizes Training for World-Class Customer Service – Whistler

The Whistler Experience™ leverages a world-class learning partnership with University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. This executive level service training teaches teams to apply psychology and recognize opportunities to win and keep customers.

Investing in Personalized Health Professional Attraction Pays Off – Quesnel

As many B.C. communities are aware, it is becoming more difficult to attract and retain medical professionals to care for citizens. B.C. communities faced with shortages of medical professionals must come up with unique approaches to attract and retain professionals. Quesnel’s response was to roll out the red carpet for those who might be attracted by the lifestyle and enjoy a warm welcome to the community.  

Attracting Digital Talent From Across Canada with the "Make It Here" Campaign – Kelowna

“Make It Here – Innovate Kelowna” is a brand owned by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and shared with multiple stakeholders to build awareness of the entrepreneurial spirit in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan. It was created to attract innovative businesses and the creative class to support a knowledge-based economy in the Central Okanagan region.