Wednesday, September 28, 2016


The Employment Skills Training program (EST) launched in 2009 has now about to complete its 8th year of helping financially challenged newcomers in Calgary find suitable employment. This year however, the EST program, which has always only been offered at our SE location in Forest Lawn, is now also available at our NE Location in Whitehorn.

With an average 75% success rate the program has been very successful. Over 600 students have now completed the program, with EST students improving their workplace knowledge, their marketable skills, increasing their self-esteem and confidence levels, and securing suitable employment. The best part is that the EST program is a free, full-time program for permanent residents and refugees that have been in Calgary for less than 5 years.

This 310 hour (3 Month) program includes computer training in Microsoft Office, hardware and software training, business communications training including Canadian Business Culture, and job finding strategies as well as targeted cover letters, resumes and interview skills.Numerous guest speakers from different economic sectors present to the EST students about Canadian Business Culture, soft skills, interview techniques and how to secure a suitable job in Canada. There is also an optional one month voluntary job practicum at the programs end. For a both a testimonial as well as a full summary of the program simply click the below, or simply give us a call at 403-235-3666.

Career Education and Settlement Immigration Fair

The third annual Calgary Career, Education and Settlement Immigrant Fair is coming back to the Telus Convention Centre (South Building, MacLeod Hall, 120 9th Ave SE) on Monday, October 17, 2016, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., offering a unique and exciting environment for immigrants who are looking for information and inspiration as they look for jobs, go back to school, and settle into their new home. Free admission!

The 3rd annual event is expected to be bigger than ever, with:

  • Diverse exhibitors, including career advisors, education institutes and social service agencies
  • An interactive Resumé Clinic (bring your Resumé to get free advice)
  • A new interactive networking session run in co-operation with Toastmasters
  • Inspirational speakers’ lineup, including keynote speaker Miroslav Reljic of Reljic Coached
  • A Q & A panel session on how to start a small business
  • An English pronunciation class
  • Sessions on IELTS test preparation and Express Entry and How to become a CPA
  • Plus, an onsite Citizenship Ceremony at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CIES Acknowledges World Peace Day

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace. Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper.

Every single one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a building block in the global architecture of peace. It is critical that we mobilise means of implementation, including financial resources, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, as well as the role of partnerships. Everyone has a stake and everyone has a contribution to make.


CIES to Attend YYC Culture Days Block Party

The 2016 Culture Days Block Party will take over Olympic Plaza from 11am to 2pm on Friday, September 30! Make a special trip downtown or take an extra long lunch and experience The City of Calgary’s official kick-off to a three-day celebration of our city’s vibrant art and cultural life.

You will enjoy everything from cultural music and dance performances, glass blowing, print art and speed painting demonstrations, to circus skills instruction, Capoeira and even Baby-Boomer Karaoke. In addition to the space being alive with art, song and interactive cultural activities, you’ll discover what organizations in Calgary have to offer including Calgary Arts Development, the Glenbow Museum, Calgary Philharmonic, Theatre Calgary and the National Music Centre.

September also 30th marks day 93 in the Canada 150 countdown to 2017, which will be the 150th anniversary of Canada as a nation. What does Canadian culture mean to you? We’ll be asking Calgarians to answer that question in one or two words and then get their photo taken at our official Canada 150 photo booths. Share your photo using #Canada150 and #CultureDays and watch for your image to come up throughout 2017 promoting our city’s sesquicentennial celebrations.

For a full list of all the weekends events CLICK HERE and we hope to see you all there!


The Refugee Express Drop-In ESL & Integration (REDI) project is a fast-track language training and social integration project designed for refugees to help them learn essential vocabulary and basic language skills, incorporating basic real life tasks in order to function in Calgary communities. This three-day a week project offers in-class teaching, hands-on workshops, and fields trip to help build life skills.

Starting this month, REDI began offering classes to all refugees. Classes are available for clients with CLBLA/Pre-Basic/CLB1 and offers express-access to ESL instruction (no wait-times currently) at no cost. This project is perfect for those who are sitting on the waiting list for LINC classes and helps get them up to speed with language training here in Calgary. All classes are located at our northeast Welcome Centre for New Immigrants, a short 3-5 minute walk from Whitehorn train station. If you have any additional questions, please contact the REDI project coordinator at 403-291-0002.

For more information on REDI Simply CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

United Way Campaign Kicks Off @ CIES

Every year, millions of employees get involved in workplace giving campaigns to support local United Way solutions that improve education, financial stability and health. The United Way workplace campaign unites employees in all offices or branches of a company, and gives them an opportunity to donate, volunteer and speak out for causes that matter to them. You can see the results in your own backyard, even as you're part of a larger mission to affect change worldwide.

The workforce campaign is about more than raising money for worthy causes; it also strengthens connections between employees and their community.  CIES kicked off its campaign this week and we are excited to get going! To get more information about workplace campaigns, contact your local United Way.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Alberta Minimum Wage Begins March to $15 per Hour

After promising wage increases in their 2015 campaign, the Alberta’s NDP government has officially begun to roll out.  The pay increase is set to roll out in stages.

This Saturday, October 1st minimum wage will be $12.20 per hour – then, a second increase to $13.60 an hour on October 1, 2017, ending with the final bump up to $15 on October 1, 2018. According to a press release, over 59 thousand Albertans currently work on minimum wage. The province also intends to change the minimum wage for servers and bartenders – this is due to the fact usually is a dollar less per hour to compensate for tips. It’s also important to note that women dominate the ranks of Alberta’s lowest paid workers. More than 60 per cent of workers who earn less than $12 are women. While not a panacea, increasing the minimum wage helps to close a systemic pay gap for women.

The move is seen as controversial or even dangerous by some, but it would be safe to say not by anyone currently making minimum wage.