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Skilled immigrants connect to cleantech employers

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Top executives of BC’s Cleantech Industry engaged with close to 200 newcomer technical professionals at Vancouver Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 12 to share information on cleantech opportunities.

They were participating in Connect to the Future: Careers in BC Cleantech, a conference aimed at bringing together growing cleantech companies with technical talent. The event was a collaboration between ISSofBC and the Vancouver Public Library’s Skilled Immigrant Info Centre supported by funding from Vancity.

Throughout the day, 8 company CEOs, a CFO and HR Managers shared strategies and answered questions about getting hired in cleantech. Presenting companies included Axine Technologies, Terramera, Loop Energy, Ecotagious, ChopValue Manufacturing, Coulson Group, Awesense and Delta-Q Technologies.

The event also offered information and a roundtable discussion about starting a cleantech business with input from the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, SFU’s Invention 2 Innovation program, Vancity and Pangea Ventures. BC Public Service, New Ventures BC and Immigrating Women in Science (IWIS) also provided information and resources to attendees.

ISSofBC Career Paths, Skills and Supports for Job Success and Employer Solutions departments hosted and supported the conference, which ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants from Settlement Employment and LINC also joined the event.

Employers provided 15 minute talks about their companies and while speaking, also modeled highly-valued presentation skills. One of the challenges newcomers often experience is the need for strong presentation capability in order to advance within organizations. In addition to sharing content about cleantech, speakers also demonstrated presentation soft skills.

Newcomers rushed to speak individually with speakers during coffee and lunch breaks. In one instance, 8 participants were lined up to chat with Axine Technology CEO Jonathan Rhone. Cleantech company representatives said they were impressed with the interest and questions of the attendees, as well as the large number of participants.

Cleantech is a relatively new subsector composed of companies which aim to provide solutions to environmental problems through increased use of renewable resources, decreased use of natural resources and reduced/eliminated pollution and waste.

According to a recent KPMG report, BC cleantech employs approximately 14,000 and is poised for strong growth in the near future. Many of the job openings are technical and require engineering, IT or laboratory backgrounds. The average wage in BC cleantech is $84,000.

View photos from the event


Gwen PawlikowskiAbout the Author:
Gwen Pawlikowski is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who has also worked as an ISSofBC employment counsellor with newcomers. She lives in New Westminster and loves the diversity of the Lower Mainland. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.

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