Job Fair for Immigrants
Communitas Supportive Care Society will hold its second Job Fair for Immigrants on Tuesday, February 20th at their provincial office in Abbotsford. Communitas serves people from across BC who live with developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury and mental health challenges.
The first event was held just over a year ago and was so successful that organizers decided to run it again. Justina Penner the chief human resources officer for Communitas, says that it’s an opportunity for Communitas to build on its already 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.”
Sanjiv Sharma came to Communitas through the first Job Fair for Immigrants back in November of 2016. He and his family had come from India, seeking an opportunity to live in a different country and experience a different culture. What he was not prepared for was the challenge of finding work.
“My wife and I both come from the field of medicine, so we are skilled workers but it was difficult to find employment,” he says.
He had been working at various odd jobs when he happened upon the job fair at Communitas. He felt welcomed immediately and saw that his skills would be valued. He applied for work as a Residential Support Worker and was hired. He has since moved on to become a manager of one of Communitas’ residences.
“I love this work. I am empowered here to make changes and to champion the cause of those who have very little say in society,” he says, adding that the positive work environment has made a lasting impact on him. “I have made friends for life here.”
Penner says that Sharma is a great example of someone with valued education and experience but also a person who truly fits the organization’s values.
“We can always teach skills and we’re willing to train on the job,” she says. “What we look for are people who love diversity, who value people of all abilities, and who come with a serving heart.”
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. Sharma hopes that others in the community will come and learn more about Communitas.
“This is a place where you can grow and learn,” he says. “There’s lots of opportunity here.”
Communitas is offering this opportunity together with Abbotsford Community Services, Abbotsford Works, and Community Futures. Each of these organizations provides services to immigrants in their community.
The Job Fair for Immigrants will be held Tuesday February 20th from 11 am-3 pm at the Communitas provincial office. Those interested can drop by during the hours indicated.