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Job Fair Focuses on New Immigrants

Communitas Supportive Care Society is holding a Job Fair for Immigrants on Tuesday November 1st at their provincial office in Abbotsford.

Justina Penner is the chief human resources officer for Communitas. She says that the idea for this unique job fair came about as a result of the organization’s positive experience with its own diverse workforce.

“We have over 400 employees representing over 60 countries from around the world,” she says. “This is not just a skilled group of people, these are people who are motivated to work and they genuinely care about the people we serve.”

While almost anyone can learn specific skills, not everyone is suited for the work that Communitas does, providing care for people who live with developmental disabilities. Services range from 24-hour residential care to skills-based day programs to respite care for families. It takes a unique and skilled workforce to provide this care and the human resources team at Communitas works hard at finding exactly the right individuals for each job.

“Our primary goal is to find staff people who fit us as an organization, we really value people’s education and life experience,” she says. “We can always teach skills and we’re willing to train on the job. What we look for are people who love diversity, who value people of all abilities, and who come with a serving heart.”

John Galay came to Canada from Nepal where he had worked as a caregiver to a child with disabilities. He has been with Communitas since 2002, serving as a Residential Support Worker. He values the fact that the organization is willing to give newcomers a chance.

“At Communitas you are treated with dignity and respect. It’s a diverse organization that accepts people from different cultures and countries,” he says. “I feel very blessed to be working here.”

Penner says that one of the things that often makes immigrant applicants attractive to Communitas is the very fact of their status as immigrants.

“Our experience has been that people who come from other countries have often had to get their education and experience under challenging circumstances. They’ve also made the decision to come to Canada and taking those steps shows a level of initiative and determination that we value,” she explains.

The Job Fair for Immigrants will give participants a chance to learn more about what Communitas does and see if they think it’s a fit for them. Communitas is offering this opportunity together with Abbotsford Community Services, Abbotsford Works, Mission Community Services Society and Fraser Valley Employment and Support Services Cooperative. Each of these organizations provide services to immigrants in their community.

“I hope that those who come will be pleasantly surprised to see that their skills and their education are transferable and that we value their experiences,” Penner says.

The Job Fair for Immigrants will be held Tuesday November 1 from 11 am-3 pm at the Communitas provincial office: 103-2776 Bourquin Crescent West in Abbotsford.

For more information visit or call 604 850 6608.