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ICONIC YEG

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Unlocking Opportunity: Hiring Ukrainian Newcomers in Alberta

Canada stands as a beacon of hope for the more than 7,000,000 Ukrainians who have fled their homeland, and over 210,000 Ukrainian newcomers who have been granted special visas to start a new life. It's a wave of human potential landing on the shores of Alberta, presenting a unique yet compelling opportunity for local businesses.

The Alberta business landscape has always celebrated a culture of innovation, unity, and hard work. Now, more than ever, there's a call to action to extend a hand to those who are eager to work and contribute to our local economy. Ukrainian newcomers are more than just numbers; they are individuals with unique skills, expertise, and a profound sense of perseverance.

By actively recruiting and hiring Ukrainian newcomers, Alberta businesses can leverage a rich, diverse talent pool that can enrich their work environments and contribute to their growth in unexpected ways.

The Ukrainian Newcomers Situation in Alberta

The statistics speak volumes: with over 15,000 Ukrainian newcomers having already found their way to Edmonton, and hundreds more arriving every month, the Ukrainian community in Alberta is rapidly growing. The UCC-APC's establishment of an online job board reflects the community's eagerness to integrate into the local workforce. Despite the challenges of language and credential recognition, the sheer numbers and the resiliency they offer demand acknowledgment and support from local employers.

"They are here to start over, support their families, and be of value in almost any role they can." - Edmonton Business Owner

The Advantages of Hiring Ukrainian Newcomers

A Strong Work Ethic and Motivation

Ukrainian newcomers possess a storied legacy of persistence born from adversity. Their upbringing in a country rich with historical rigors has instilled a work ethic that is second to none. Whether they held executive positions back home or were craftsmen, the Ukrainian workforce is eager to prove their worth and build a new life within Alberta's bustling business ecosystem.

Diverse Skill Sets and Educational Backgrounds

Many Ukrainian newcomers are highly educated professionals with diverse industry experience. From engineers to data analysts, the Ukrainian diaspora offers a wide range of expertise that can fit into various sectors. Their education, combined with willingness to learn and adapt, presents businesses with a tailor-made opportunity to reshape their teams and add fresh perspectives.

Willingness to Contribute and Adapt

An existential war does not breed complacency but rather a relentless drive to forge ahead. Ukrainian newcomers bring this adaptive mentality, offering an open-mindedness that can seamlessly blend with your existing company culture. They are not just willing to contribute; they are eager to do so in roles that match their skills and aspirations.

Potential for Long-Term Value to Businesses

The decision to hire Ukrainian newcomers should not be viewed as a short-term response to a crisis but as a long-term investment. Businesses that recognize and harness the potential of this workforce are setting the stage for future growth and evolution. By providing an environment that fosters development and supports integration, companies can cultivate loyalty and dedication among these new employees.

The Challenges and Solutions

Addressing Cultural Integration and Language Barriers

One of the primary challenges for Ukrainian newcomers is adjusting to a new culture and language. Employers can overcome these barriers by offering cultural sensitivity training and language programs. Creating a welcoming environment that celebrates diversity and provides the necessary tools for integration is key to a successful transition for these employees.

Providing Support and Training Programs

Businesses should proactively develop support systems to ease the transition for Ukrainian newcomers. This may include mentorship programs, support for obtaining Canadian accreditation when required, and access to resources that help with the settlement process. Training programs focused on specific industry requirements can also bridge skill gaps and empower these individuals to excel in their roles.

Leveraging Their Talents Effectively in the Workforce

Recognizing Ukrainian newcomers' credentials and experiences is essential to maximizing their potential within Alberta's workforce. Employers should work with relevant organizations to facilitate the recognition of international qualifications and ensure that these professionals can contribute at a level that reflects their capabilities.

The Benefits for Employers

Enhanced Diversity and Creativity in the Workplace

A diverse workforce is a creative one, bringing together a multitude of perspectives that can drive innovation. Ukrainian newcomers can infuse your business with fresh ideas and approaches, leading to enhanced problem-solving and a more dynamic work environment.

Fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility

By supporting the integration of Ukrainian newcomers, businesses demonstrate a commitment to their communities and global humanitarian efforts. This aligns with corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals and can be a source of pride for employees and customers alike.

Building a Positive Reputation as an Inclusive Employer

Employers who take a proactive stance in hiring Ukrainian newcomers can enjoy a positive reputation as an inclusive and forward-thinking organization. This not only enhances employer branding but can also attract a broader talent pool and support long-term business success.

Call to Action

We call upon the business leaders of Alberta to rise to the occasion and recognize the incredible opportunity that lies in hiring Ukrainian newcomers. This is more than a chance to fill roles within your companies; it's an opportunity to be at the forefront of societal change, to lead with empathy and vision, and to actively contribute to building a compassionate and inclusive community. The shared future of Alberta depends on the decisions we make today. By opening your doors and providing meaningful opportunities to these hardworking individuals, you're not just supporting their dreams of a better life; you're also investing in the diversity and strength of our economy. We urge you to take this step, to be part of a collective effort that values action, a sense of community, and the undeniable benefits that come from embracing and valuing all talents and perspectives.

Do you want to get started hiring or have questions about the process? 

Contact me

Let’s discuss my personal experience and how you can get your business started on hiring some of the best talent this province has seen in decades!

 

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There is more we can do. You can help.

A staggering 120,000 Ukrainians have sought refuge in Canada over the past year. Alberta specifically, has become a safe haven for more than 26,000 Ukrainian people since Russia's invasion began over a year ago. Despite not being considered refugees under Canada's immigration program, a special authorization for emergency travel was created by the federal government and offers immediate assistance payment of up to $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child upon arrival.

Catholic Social Services is one community group working tirelessly towards supporting these newcomers whose needs continue to be complex as many Ukrainian families come without savings or connections. Catholic Social Services has been able to provide 25 government-funded hotel rooms where individuals can stay free of charge up to 2 weeks while permanent accommodations must ultimately be found elsewhere. Much assistance still remains necessary – displaced Ukrainians desperately need our help now more than ever before.

How can you help? 

1. Donate to Catholic Social Services

2. Volunteer at a local community groups helping Ukrainian newcomers

3. Spread awareness about the needs of Ukrainian people arriving in Edmonton

4. Support organizations that are offering housing and other services for new arrivals

5. Help refugees secure employment opportunities

6. Assist families with language barriers in finding support networks

7. Provide cultural orientation programs for newcomers

8. Donate quality furniture and household items

9. Offer educational opportunities and career guidance to immigrants

10. Mentor young Ukrainians who have left their homes

Iconic Yeg supports the lease up efforts at various purpose built rental buildings within central Edmonton. In partnership with the developer we have been able to adjust our approval process to ensure more Ukrainian people arriving in Edmonton have access to expedient and safe housing. Currently at 121 West, an apartment building in the Brewery District, we are offering a $0.00 damage deposit to all Ukrainian new comers; as well providing property tours and lease signings in their native language.

At Iconic YEG we were incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to connect with Catholic Social Services and through their network we were able to find our two newest employees Olena and Dmyrto!

Olena is a brilliant and dynamic leasing agent who supports our prospective tenants by finding their dream apartment that suits not only their needs, but their desired lifestyle.  Fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian, Olena has been instrumental in supporting both the Ukrainian newcomers and longstanding Edmontonians find their new homes. 

Dmytro is Iconic’s Information Technology Business Analyst, and under his guidance we have been able to develop an efficient and robust system to support our real estate, project sales, and rental operations.  Highly educated and business minded, we could not be more lucky than to have him on our team and supporting our future goals.

They have now been with our team for three months and have been absolute superstars and I am so excited to see how we grow to support future roles and employment opportunities for Ukrainian newcomers within our organization. 

For more information or if you are a Ukrainian considering a move to Edmonton, please reach out to us and we can help find housing at 121 West, The Beacon at East Junction or with some of our other rental partners.  

Contact us Here

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