About the webinar:

Employers have a critical role to play in creating more inclusive economies and supporting the success of immigrant and refugee workers, who often face significant challenges gaining access to the labour market. Immigrants and refugees are overrepresented in low-paying occupations and in sectors with poor working conditions and limited opportunities for economic mobility.

The WES Mariam Assefa Fund launched in Canada in 2020 to support efforts that ensure inclusive economies and enable all immigrants and refugees to achieve their aspirations and thrive. This year, one of the Fund’s key focus areas is to identify efforts that engage employers in the economic integration of immigrants and refugees.

In this webinar, three workforce development experts will share their perspectives on how workforce development organizations can successfully partner with employers to develop programs that meet employers’ evolving talent needs and integrate workers’ perspectives in program design.

The webinar will also explore the Fund’s interest in supporting visionary organizations that focus on effecting the economic integration of immigrants and refugees through driving better employer engagement and equitable employer practices. Marina Nuri, Senior Program Manager, will discuss the Fund’s new open call for proposals focused on employer practices. Letters of Intent for this 2021 funding opportunity should be submitted by June 30.


Judy Doidge

Director, Partnerships with Social Capital Partners

Judy works with private, public, and non-profit partners in workforce development to design and test new models that benefit both employers and job seekers.

Surabhi Jain

Executive Director of the Toronto Workforce Funder Collaborative

Surabhi has over 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating workforce development programs.


AJ Tibando

Executive Director of Palette Inc.

AJ leads Palette Inc., a national talent platform that meets the needs of Canada’s most innovative companies by rapidly upskilling workers from disrupted industries.


Marina Nuri

Senior Program Manager, WES Mariam Assefa Fund

Marina oversees the Fund’s strategy and grantmaking in Canada by focusing on identifying and funding innovative solutions that improve the economic mobility of immigrants and refugees and by supporting the community of the Fund’s grantee partners in Canada.