August 2019 – December 2020

Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce and United Way of Bruce Grey have received funding from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for this 17-month pilot initiative to address the multiple barriers to labour market entry and career advancement faced by visible minority newcomer women in Grey Bruce. The project works with visible minority newcomer and immigrant women, employers, employment services and other service providers to develop, implement and evaluate various pathways for visible minority newcomer women from various cultural, education and economic background to overcome employment barriers.It consists of three phases:

Phase 1 – Research and consultation

In fall 2019. the project conducted three surveys with visible minority newcomer/immigrant women, employers and employment service providers to identify the employment and pre-employment barriers faced by visible minority newcomer women living in Grey Bruce. During that period, interviews with women and consultations with employers and employment service providers were conducted to obtain detailed information on the identified barriers. The data collected through the surveys, interviews and consultations were analysed during the winter months and the results were used in Phase 2 to develop some tools to address the barriers which the project would test and evaluate. The research findings and analysis are available in two reports:

Phase 2 – Tool development, testing and evaluation

Presently, several tools to address employment and pre-employment barriers faced by visible minority women are being developed, and will be tested and evaluated in spring and summer 2020. These include an employment readiness assessment tool, skill-building workshops and vocational / pre-vocational capacity building opportunities for visible minority newcomer women, and training for employers and employment service providers.

Phase 3 – Production of the Rural Pathways to Employment Toolkit

Based on the evaluations of the tools, the project will develop a Rural Pathways to Employment Toolkit. It will be published and distributed to employers, employment service providers and other service providers in December 2020.

Covid-19 Response Activities

In March and April, 2020, the project has been diverted from it’s workplan to provide support to visible minority newcomer women and employers who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The project staff maintained regular contact with the women and employers to ensure that they can access resources they need. Resource sheets for newcomers and employers were developed. The project has recruited volunteer translators to help women with language barriers to access resources. Since the pandemic is going to have long lasting effects, the Covid-19 response activities have been included in the project scope.

To find out more about the project contact