Partnering With Associations and Schools Helps Duke Energy Recruit Skilled Immigrants

Many employees at Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) West are nearing retirement age. As such, the energy supplier’s president, Doug Haughey, has made hiring skilled immigrants a corporate priority in an attempt to maintain their employee base and prevent future skills shortages.

DEGT works with immigrant organizations across Western Canada. Jobs are posted not only in national newspapers and on the company’s website, but also through professional organizations in British Columbia, such as the Society of Internationally Trained Engineers of B.C. and the Society of Punjabi Engineers and Technologists of B.C. The company also works closely with AMSSA of BC (the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies) to eliminate barriers to hiring immigrants.

In Calgary, DEGT partners with Bow Valley College’s Work Experience for Immigrants Program. The college offers 10 weeks of language, job search and business culture training four times a year, followed by a six-week unpaid job placement with partner companies.

The college evaluates participants’ proficiency in English as well as their work experience to ensure a successful placement — at no charge to the employer. To further support program participants, DEGT contributes the cost of airfare, accommodation and meals to bring participants to its northeast B.C. operations. All participants gain valuable Canadian experience, and DEGT has permanently hired four professionals through the program.

In Vancouver, the company has partnered with S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a non-profit immigration and social service agency to develop a program similar to the Bow Valley College program, with DEGT participating as the corporate partner. The two organizations are also working together to help settle immigrant professionals in Northern B.C., where the immigrant community is small and few supports are in place.

Duke Energy is currently developing a workforce planning program to help forecast workforce gaps and develop strategies to address anticipated shortages. The company’s partnerships with immigrant organizations will play a key role in developing their skilled workforce.

Tips for Employers

  • Partner with professional organizations, including professional immigrant networks, to find skilled immigrants.
  • Work experience programs offered through colleges, such as Bow Valley College, provide a source of pre-screened immigrant talent with Canadian work experience.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) supplies, delivers and processes natural gas and electric energy for customers in North America and selected international markets. More than 800 employees work in DEGT West’s 12 midstream natural gas gathering and processing facilities in Alberta and northern British Columbia.

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