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).

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What's New

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CRIEC has been busy on a number of strategies:

1. Mentoring

Our 1-on-1 mentoring strategy is a proven success, connecting ITPs with Calgary professionals, most often in occupation-specific mentoring relationships. We have recently seen our 500th mentoring relationship: we average about 125 such partnerships each year. Of these, more than 65% of our ITPs secure meaningful in their chosen field!

We have ensured that this mentoring strategy remains relevant and effective by adding valuable tools and resources for use by Mentors and Mentees:

  • MentorShare sessions – regular gatherings of mentors from across the city who have the opportunity to learn from a mentoring “expert”, share mentoring success and challenges and network amongst themselves.
  • MenteeShare sessions – regular gatherings of mentees from across our system who also have the opportunity to learn from a mentoring “expert”, share mentoring success and challenges and network amongst themselves.

2. SmartConnections

SmartConnections is now a significant part of what we do – smartly connecting ITPs with sector-specific experts who can assist, guide and advise ITPs on their next steps of the journey toward successful careers.

Since 2012 we have prepared, executed and/or advised on more than 20 SmartConnections, both locally and across Canada.

There are 3 kinds of SmartConnections:

  • Profession-specific sessions designed to help Lawyers; Accountants/Finance Experts; IT; Engineering; Executives; and others reach their career potential.
  • Sector-specific sessions that approach industrial areas such as Oil & Gas; Commercial Banking; Not-for-Profit; and Professional Services; as potential career path avenues for our ITPs.
  • Employer-specific sessions that focus on connecting the workforce needs of employers with the core competencies and aspirations of ITPs. Employers in these sessions have included retailers, insurance companies, law firms, recruitment agencies, consultants and energy companies.

3. Core Competency Workshops

Most Canadians do not feel limited by either their occupational label (Lawyer, Accountant, Engineer, for example) or by their education/training. They often see themselves as “problem-solvers” ready to take on any number of roles. We work with our ITPs with this in mind – understand and appreciate your own core competencies and you will have succeeded in giving yourself choices!

Our workshops focus on the following core competencies:

  • Servant leadership
  • Problem-solving & Decision-making
  • Articulating critical thought
  • Being flexible and adaptable

4. 101 Learning Series

We supplement our major strategies with focused and specific opportunities that allow ITPs to learn new skills. This is all part of the holistic and individual approach we take with each ITP. Select those learning sessions that will most benefit you.

These sessions include:

  • Stampede 101
  • Networking 101
  • A Day in the Life of a Professional
  • Self-marketing 101: Resume Writing, Cover letters and Interviews
  • Volunteerism 101

5. Volunteering

We understand that Calgary is a volunteering city – helping others is a way of life here. It is also a great way to build and/or enhance your personal and professional networks.

We explore and help facilitate volunteering opportunities in 3 areas:

  • Community-building such as Habitat for Humanity, Mustard Seed, Community Kitchen
  • Knowledge-sharing such as being part of a panel, workshop or conversation we host at CRIEC, the Calgary Public Library, university/colleges or employer panels and the like
  • Occupation-specific where you take your profession such as Accounting, IT or HR into an organization that requires this type of volunteer assistance.

Our new website to launch shortly – stay tuned for details!

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Mission & Vision

CRIEC builds pathways such as mentoring programs, career path planning, cultural competency workshops 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. We prepare SmartConnections for professions, sectors and employers. Click here to learn more.

SmartConnections for Internationally Trained Lawyers

Read more about these exciting sessions:

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 these exciting sessions:

CRIEC's 2nd SmartConnections session

SmartConnections Photo Gallery - May 23, 2012
Benefits of SmartConnections

Media Gallery

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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




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.