In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
Great to be part of 2014 WOW.  The Algonquin College indeed welcomed the World yesterday, with 150 immigrants attending from Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, Brazil and more!

Algonquin College
WOW 2014 Planning Committee
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.   

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council Chair
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa

Hire Immigrants Ottawa

March 20, 2013 How to Replicate

Subject of Analysis

credentials recognition, employment of internationally trained immigrants, immigrant talent


Henry Akanko

Creating Opportunities for the Integration of Immigrants into the Ottawa Labour Market

Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) is an award winning community-based initiative that brings together employers, immigrant agencies and stakeholders to enhance employers’ ability to access the talents of skilled immigrants in the Ottawa area. The initiative was launched in 2006 as a response to a growing need to identify and address barriers faced by employers in the hiring and integration of skilled immigrants into the labour force. HIO’s mandate is to increase the capacity of employers in the region to effectively hire and integrate skilled immigrants into skills-appropriate positions.

HIO’s Approach

1. Convene and Collaborate with Partners and Stakeholders

  • An Employer Council of Champions – a cross-sector council of senior executives that promote the effective labour market integration of skilled immigrants.
  • Sector-specific working groups (information technology, health, finance, biotech and public sectors) address systemic barriers in their respective sectors.

2. Build Employer Capacity

  • Deliver programs and events that provide employers with tools and resources to enhance their capacity to more effectively hire and integrate skilled immigrants into their workplaces. These include cross-cultural competency workshops, and coaching and networking events that connect employers and immigrants.

3. Raise Public Awareness

  • Promote greater understanding of the economic value that immigrants bring to Ottawa.
  • Disseminate information about employer resources and promising practices.


Since its inception, HIO has made significant contributions to Ottawa’s labour force and immigrants’ employment. Participating employer organizations have hired more than 1,000 immigrants into appropriate skills positions. HIO has supported the efforts of more than 100 employers to make systemic changes to their HR policies and practices, including recruitment and retention practices, and cross-cultural competency building. Through its engagement activities, HIO has reached more than 500 employers, creating awareness, providing resources, and facilitating linkages with community partners and stakeholders. See HIO’s Five Year Report for more information.