Minister Vandal announces federal investment supporting inclusive growth and employment opportunities in Calgary

June 29, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta – PrairiesCan – More than $7 million through PrairiesCan will help grow a diverse technology workforce by creating hundreds of jobs in the Calgary region

The Government of Canada is providing support for community-led innovation that creates opportunities for people with diverse talents and abilities to succeed. In and around Calgary, organizations are using collaborative, inclusive approaches to hire more diverse talent that will benefit Alberta’s economy.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a federal investment of more than $7 million for three Calgary-based initiatives, through two programs — the Jobs and Growth Fund, and the Community Economic Development and Diversification Program, to continue building a socially inclusive economy in the Calgary region and to enable local businesses to harness the abilities and talents of underrepresented Canadians.

  • The University of Calgary is receiving $2,649,909 to establish a Social Innovation Hub to support the development and growth of socially-motivated businesses and social enterprises. Services will include specialized programming, access to space, office support, and funding for expert advisors, fellows and internships. Over the next four years, the project is expected to lead to the creation of about 40 high-quality jobs and directly benefit over 220 for-profit businesses and approximately 20 not-for-profit enterprises across Alberta.
  • Meticulon Consulting is receiving $1,359,254 to create tools and services to assist companies in hiring neurodiverse youth into technology positions in four locations across Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Alberta businesses will benefit from this initiative through services such as employer toolkits, assessment tools to identify work-readiness, customized training for HR departments, and a digital inclusion network to promote dialogue among participating companies. The project is expected to help create about 100 technology-related jobs and directly benefit approximately 80 businesses.
  • NPower Canada is receiving $3,000,000 to expand and scale up its digital entry-level IT skills workforce development program for underrepresented, low-income, and diverse job seekers—including youth, women, racialized and Indigenous people who face barriers to employment. The project is expected to help train approximately 650 participants, create more than 400 jobs and directly benefit about 50 Alberta business.


In total, the initiatives are expected to help create or maintain more than 550 jobs, and assist approximately 370 small and medium-sized businesses to grow and access the talent and skills they need to remain competitive.


“Building a socially inclusive economy that leverages the talents and abilities of all Canadians is critical to Canada’s economic growth and recovery. Our government’s support for these three leading organizations will position Calgary at the forefront of advancing economic diversity and inclusion while helping to address the tech talent and skills needs of Alberta businesses. We are proud to be a partner with organizations working to build an inclusive economy for everyone.”
–The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan

“Our Government has committed to building an inclusive economy that will lead to long-lasting social change. Today’s investments will provide the resources to support three transformational not-for-profit organizations to expand and create a diverse technology workforce that will boost the regional economy and create good paying jobs.”
–George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview

“As Alberta’s economy continues to lead Canada in growth and recovery, the priority is to ensure all Albertans can participate and are included in the job market. This is why Alberta’s government has invested in Alberta’s Recovery Plan to help Albertans with disabilities find and keep good jobs in the tech sector and enjoy everything their communities have to offer.”
–Jeremy Nixon, Parliamentary Secretary, Community and Social Services

“Complex social challenges require sustainable, community-serving solutions. Today’s federal investment through PrairiesCan will help establish the Social Innovation Hub (SIH), an inclusive space for researchers and community partners to collaborate and establish mutually-beneficial partnerships. By bringing evidence-informed solutions and enterprising models together, the SIH will launch and scale innovation, and move the needle on our most-pressing social challenges.”
–Dr. William Ghali, Vice President (Research), University of Calgary

“This funding will help drive an inclusive economy by expanding supports for social entrepreneurs and innovators. We know that how we undertake this work, is just as important as why we are doing it – social innovation is both a journey and a destination. SIH centers on relationships and collaboration to drive innovative solutions, leveraging the strengths of partners to be greater than the sum of our parts. With support from stakeholders like PrairiesCan, we are making that vision a reality.
–Jordana Armstrong, Director, Social Innovation Hub, Innovate Calgary

“At Meticulon, we recognize and have seen the value of people over processes and abilities over labels. We believe that to make a change – you have to be the change.”
–Garth Johnson, CEO, Meticulon

“As advancements in technology change how we live, work, and learn, our goal at NPower Canada is to equip vulnerable unemployed and underemployed Canadians with the in-demand skills required by today’s IT and digital workforce. This funding from PrairiesCan will help us address the tech skills gap in Western Canada, providing employers with the junior-level IT talent they need.”
–Julia Blackburn, CEO, NPower Canada

Quick facts

  • Federal funding is being provided through two programs administered by PrairiesCan: the Jobs and Growth Fund, and the Community Economic Development and Diversification Program.
  • The Jobs and Growth Fund helps job creators and the organizations that support them future-proof their businesses, build resiliency, and prepare for growth. Funding is interest-free and repayable.
  • The Community Economic Development and Diversification program supports economic development initiatives that contribute to the economic growth and diversification of communities across the Prairie provinces.


Associated links



Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
[email protected]

Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
[email protected]