Program helps foreign-trained engineers find jobs in Calgary
'The outcome of this program was priceless,' says graduate with two job offers
The Calgary Catholic Immigration Society has graduated a new crop of engineers.
The 15 immigrants have qualifications from their home countries, but couldn't find a job in Calgary because they lacked Canadian experience.
One of the new graduates of the upgrading program is Bahar Soleimani, who was an industrial engineer in Iran, but sold furniture after she came to Canada in 2014.
'Lucky' engineer offered placement
She didn't expect to get into the competitive program offered by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society.
"I learned that there are hundreds of people out there that wanted to get accepted in this program. I was really disappointed and I never believed that I was going to be one of them," she said.
"Wow, I was lucky. I was among those 15 people."
Through the program, she had a work placement with AECOM oil and gas.
Coincidentally, her supervisor, Doug Shako, faced similar hurdles immigrating more than a decade ago.
"When I arrived, the message was, you're an engineer back home, don't try to be an engineer in Calgary."
Today, Shako says Soleimani's global experience is seen as an asset and his team has offered her a job.
Soleimani graduated on Friday from the upgrading program and has two jobs to choose from in her field of expertise.
"The outcome of this program was priceless," said Soleimani.
CCIS has graduated about 450 engineers through the province-sponsored program since it began in 1994, according to Sholeh Mahdavi, the program's manager.
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