I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
OLIP has been a catalyst in driving change in the Ottawa community. OLIP gave us a game plan, a strategy and focus to address the critical issues of immigrant health and wellbeing.

Jack McCarthy
Executive Director, Somerset West Health & Resource Centre
The First Ottawa Immigration Forum was an outstanding event showcasing our immigrant communities’ contributions throughout the day.

Steve Kanellakos
Deputy City Manager, City of Ottawa
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
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
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
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 OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
Thank you OLIP.  IWSO exhibition during the 2014 WOW created the opportunity for newcomer women to tell their stories and showcase their artistic talents.

Lucya Spencer
Executive Director, Immigrant Women Services Organization
We were pleased to be part of 2014WOW and discuss how we could make sports more inclusive for Ottawa’s immigrant population.  We received wonderful ideas.    

Kelly Robertson
Manager, City-wide Recreation Programs, City 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.