Lighthouse Labs launches new initiative for newcomer women in IT in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario By: Lighthouse labs That’s why Lighthouse Labs is pleased to partner with leading organizations, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC), Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), Riipen and the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, to provide an innovative, made-in-Ontario solution to the employment and skills barriers experienced by newcomer women in the Ottawa and Eastern Ontario region. Funded by the Government of Ontario, the “OWN Tech Initiative” will be used to address labour market access barriers for both newcomer women and the employers who hire them. This 12 month initiative will prepare 60 newcomer women with technical skills; connect them with mentors and a career coach, provide essential skills training and employment preparation and ultimately connect them to jobs needed in industry today. “The current circumstances are presenting unprecedented challenges across the province,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Government of Ontario. “Now more than ever is a time to come together and focus on leveraging our collective expertise and identifying creative solutions that will support the employment and training needs of our province’s workforce. Our government remains committed to advancing innovative workforce development solutions like the one from Lighthouse Labs that connect jobseekers with opportunities to find good, long-term jobs and ensure employers can hire the skilled workers they need to thrive” Furthermore, according to Statistics Canada, women who identify as visible minorities and who immigrated to the Ottawa region between the years of 2011 and 2016, see an unemployment rate of 19.3%. And with 68% of Ottawa businesses in 2018 reporting access to skilled labour as a top issue, the initiative is poised to initiate change. “We are excited to launch this initiative,” said our CEO, Jeremy Shaki. “Programs like this are at the heart of the Lighthouse Labs mission to efficiently prepare the workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in the digital economy and recognizes the need to address the challenges experienced by marginalized and under-represented groups in the labour market.” The OWN initiative has already begun to recruit candidates for the program. To find out more, check out our Impact Initiatives This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.