August 30th, 2022 – Halifax, Nova Scotia: NPower Canada announced the expansion of their free tech training and employment programs to job seekers across the province of Nova Scotia. Thanks to support from partners, Government of Nova Scotia and Manulife, NPower Canada is deepening their commitment in the province to offer more job seekers in-demand tech skills and direct connections to employers, including individuals from remote and rural communities who need greater access to career opportunities.
Since 2021, NPower Canada has enrolled more than 200 Nova Scotian job seekers in their workforce development program. While initially aiming to serve 150 youth per year in Halifax, they quickly saw the demand from job seekers – of all ages – everywhere in the province. In May 2021, NPower Canada opened their programs to residents of Truro and Cape Breton, and now, are connecting job seekers across the province to meaningful employment.
The expansion was predicated by the need to provide accessible workforce development programs to equity-deserving communities across the province, which includes job seekers from rural and remote communities who have not historically had access to the same opportunities. Already, NPower Canada has enrolled over 100 job seekers from outside urban areas, which has significantly improved their career prospects and quality of life. By providing access to an individual, they in turn are able to better support their families and communities, creating a positive snowball effect.
“We are very proud of our success in Nova Scotia, and have identified an opportunity to make an even greater impact in the community. By expanding our programs to the entire province, we will help those that need it most. Individuals in rural and remote communities have historically lacked access to quality training and employment opportunities, and alongside partners who believe in us, NPower Canada is here to provide that,” says Julia Blackburn, CEO of NPower Canada.
Jacob Skunca, 24, from Kempt Shore, was working in a factory before joining NPower Canada and found it difficult to make ends meet. He wanted to go back to school to change career paths, but due to the recent birth of his son and house prices surging in Nova Scotia, he was unable to afford post-secondary education. He wanted more for himself and his family, but did not have the means – until he heard about NPower Canada.
Jacob joined NPower Canada in January 2022. He was motivated during the program, demonstrating a strong work ethic and willingness to learn. Jacob’s hard work paid off and a few weeks before he graduated from the NPower Canada program, he learned that he had secured a role as a Sales Specialist working remotely with Eastlink.
“Living in Kempt Shore meant that I faced additional barriers to employment, because the closest place to work was 30 minutes away. Other than farms, there was minimal work as it is a smaller town. Remote training with NPower Canada allowed me to have experience for Eastlink, and gave me the opportunity to get used to working from home,” says Jacob.
NPower Canada will continue to scale its program to help more individuals like Jacob, and by year end, expects to have enrolled 475 job seekers into their programs in Nova Scotia. NPower Canada is able to scale its programs across the province thanks to the support of its generous funding partners. Recently, the Government of Nova Scotia deepened their prior commitment to NPower Canada by investing an additional $1.95 million into NPower Canada’s programs. The investment will allow NPower Canada to equip an additional 825 job seekers from 2022-2025, particularly those from remote and rural communities who need access to training and remote work opportunities.
“Nova Scotia’s digital and technology sector is fast-growing, and with the skills and confidence that participants are building through NPower, the sector is poised to grow even stronger,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “Through NPower Canada’s innovative programming, Nova Scotians are equipped with the connections, opportunities and career pathways they need to work, live and thrive in all regions of the province.”
Manulife has also joined forces with NPower Canada as a funding partner to aid in its scaling plans in Nova Scotia. Their $200,000 investment supports NPower Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia’s goal to provide accessible workforce development programs province-wide.
Manulife has also been an employer partner of NPower Canada since 2020, helping aspiring tech professionals build meaningful careers. To date, Manulife has hired 13 NPower Canada graduates, and their colleagues through our one-on-one mentorship program.
“Manulife is committed to driving inclusive economic opportunity within our communities to create an even playing field for all. By supporting NPower Canada, we are empowering individuals to overcome geographical barriers to employment and inspiring long-term sustainable careers.” says Mamta Sethi, VP, Global Technology Strategy at Manulife.
Thanks to the generous support of the Government of Nova Scotia and Manulife, in addition to NPower Canada’s national visionary partners, Digital Technology Supercluster, Microsoft, the Future Skills Centre, Google, RBC, Walmart.org and BlackRock, NPower Canada looks forward to helping more jobseekers pursue their passions and enter the booming tech industry in Nova Scotia.