CRIEC Connects

The skilled immigrant talent pool will be an important component of future workforce planning strategies. The Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) understands this dynamic and seeks to provide the appropriate solutions for both employers and skilled immigrants or internationally trained professionals (ITPs). We secure Champions from business and community leaders and other supporters who are ready, willing and able to tackle the challenges related to skilled immigrants securing and retaining employment commensurate with their skill and experience. And with the dedication and assistance of our Community Partners and other supporters, we connect ITPs with employers through critical initiatives such as our flagship mentoring program.

Interested in becoming an employer partner? Please contact Bruce Randall (Executive Director).

Mentor-Mentee Orientation Session - Feb 23, 2012

What's New

Check this out…

CRIEC has been busy with
three significant mentoring initiatives

We have re-engaged our original employer partners such as the City of Calgary, SNC-Lavalin, Shaw Communications, Flint Energy and TransCanada and recently added new employer partners in Desjardins Insurance and JMP Engineering. We are working with several other employers – including banks, professional services and oil & gas companies. We now have 39 employer partners and expect to have at least 50 by the end of 2013.

We have greatly increased our mentor base with 325 committed Calgary professionals as of March 15, 2013, providing their time, expertise and passion to our internationally trained professionals (ITPs). We expect to have more than 400 mentors by the end of 2013.

We have also significantly enlarged our mentee base with 615 ITPs as of March 15, 2013, covering more than 40 countries and 40 professions. Again, we expect solid growth this year and look to have more than 800 mentees by the end of 2013.

And we now have 18 community partners, exchanging best practices and tools/resources designed to better connect ITPs with Calgary employers.

Classic 1-on-1 mentoring strategy – our flagship tool, connecting ITPs with their counterparts in corporate Calgary. This strategy continues to deliver results. Over the past two years, we have helped connect more than 330 ITPs and Calgary professionals in engineering, law, HR, IT, accounting, heath care, and community development in occupation-specific mentoring relationships. Mentoring really works – just ask the almost 70% of the ITPs who have been mentees in this strategy and who have found meaningful employment in their field of expertise, earning good salaries and, more importantly, forging careers here in Calgary.

SmartConnections – this strategy works with ITPs in creating sustainable career paths, whether within or outside their field of expertise. ITPs learn how to effectively and efficiently transfer their skills, experience and passion into a viable career path – and employers gain an appreciation how to really connect to the global talent that is here in this great city. Over the past year, more than 250 ITPs, 5 employer partners and 10 community partners have taken advantage of this SmartConnections approach to connect and explore skill transferability in a robust manner. And this approach has already been duplicated in Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and soon in Montreal. Check with Winners/Home Sense, Walmart and Desjardins Insurance about the power of employer-driven SmartConnections. And check with Flora Stevenson and her Canadian Association of Internationally Trained Lawyers about the value of profession-driven SmartConnections!

MentoringCircles – thanks to outstanding pilot project support from RBC Foundation and Alberta Enterprise & Advanced Education (FQR), we successfully launched our latest strategy called MentoringCircles. Designed to create both tools and space for developing communication skills, this approach is already attracting significant attention amongst employers and ITPs alike. Our pilot phase has connected 6 mentors/SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) with 19 mentees in an intensive 3-month program combining Essential Skills workshops and “conversations”. Lisa Dare is our fearless Mentoring Circles Coordinator and Bow Valley College is our outstanding partner in working with mentors and mentees and in designing and delivering our workshops.

We are in the community

CRIEC has had an active winter speaking, providing workshops and presenting strategic sessions with many community partners - Bredin Institute, Bow Valley College, CGA and CMA, CCVO, Western Canada Consortium, Metropolis Canada, Columbia College and Lethbridge Newcomers Network to name but a few.

We are working closely with ethno-specific communities such as the Chinese, Nigerian, Columbian, Indo, Filipino and Ethiopian and Eritrean communities – discussing mentoring strategies, employment outcomes and integration issues.


We are re-building this website…finally!

In the meantime, check out this site for news and visit us on our social media platforms which are continually being updated with great stories, pictures, videos and upcoming events:

Deloitte Impact Day
Mentoring Program - September 27, 2012
Stampede 101 with Adiuvo Foundation Photos - June 21, 2012
DeVry Stampede Photos - July 12, 2012

Mission & Vision

CRIEC builds pathways such as mentoring programs, cultural competency programs and positive relationships between Calgary employers and ITPs that encourage hiring and retention.

CRIEC works toward creating seamless and transparent processes that empower ITPs to work in their field and achieve full acceptance by their professional and regulatory bodies.

Operational guidelines – CRIEC will:

One of the mentees you will meet in this video not only secured employment shortly after
this video was taken, he has since been promoted to Account Manager at Printer Plus Inc.

Become a Mentor

CRIEC's mentoring program helps Calgary employers access the skilled and experienced employees they need to meet business objectives, and helps ITPs gain job search strategies, build professional networks, and acquire the tools necessary to secure employment commensurate with their education, experience and skills. To learn how you can benefit from this occupation-specific mentoring program, see information below:

Why be a Mentor

Mentor Handbook

Mentor-to-Mentor Forum User Guide

Mentor-Mentee Calendar User Guide

Mentor Testimonial - May, 2012

Click here to register as a Mentor

Become a Mentee

If you are a new or recent immigrant to Canada, please read “Who can be a mentee.” If you meet the program requirements, register by emailing Chenwei Lian ( at Bow Valley College (phone: 403-410-3211).

In your email, please include a copy of:

Financial assistance program

If you are a newcomer and struggling to pay for the costs of the Canadian accreditation or training you need to work in your pre-immigration career, contact Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) and ask about their micro loans.


SmartConnections is a collaborative approach to sharing specialized-information designed to enable ITPs to focus on career pathway development plans, applicable accreditation matters, skill transfer options, and networking opportunities with relevant stakeholders and employers. Click here to learn more.

SmartConnections for Internationally Trained Lawyers

Read more about this exciting session:

CRIEC's 1st SmartConnections session


SmartConnections for Internationally Trained Lawyers
Functional Transferable Skills, Insights Learning & Development Ltd

Listen to ITL Flora Stevenson (Brazil) discuss the CRIEC – ITL connection

Flora Stevenson
Canadian Association for ITLs
SmartConnections Photo Gallery – March 17, 2012

SmartConnections for Employers

Read more about this exciting session:

CRIEC's 2nd SmartConnections session

SmartConnections Photo Gallery - May 23, 2012

Media Gallery

Explore our archives to read about and listen to employers, mentors and mentees discussing CRIEC’s work.




Bruce Randall – Executive Director
(587) 894-7580

For all enquiries call (587) 894-7583 or email or

# 1010 105-12th Avenue SE
Kahanoff Centre
Calgary AB T2G 1A1

© Copyright 2013 CRIEC. All rights reserved.