The federal government is investing $7 million in Calgary’s tech industry, PrairiesCan Secretary of State Dan Vandal announced Wednesday afternoon.
Funding for these investments comes from the Jobs Growth Fund and the Community Economic Development and Diversification Program.
The University of Calgary will receive $2.6 million to establish a Social Innovation Hub (SIH) to support the development and growth of socially motivated businesses and social enterprises. This includes programming, space, office support and funding for experts. The project is expected to create 40 jobs in four years and directly benefit 220 companies and about 20 nonprofits across the province.
“Complex social challenges require sustainable solutions that serve the community,” said Dr. William Ghali, vice president of research at the U of C, in a press release. “By bringing together evidence-based solutions and entrepreneurial models, the SIH will launch and scale innovation, moving the needle to our most pressing social challenges.”
Meticulon Consulting will receive $1.4 million to create tools and services to help companies hire neurodiverse youth in tech positions in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and the Wood Buffalo RM. The project aims to create 100 jobs for about 80 companies.
NPower Canada will receive $3 million to expand and scale its entry-level IT skills development program for underrepresented, low-income, and diverse workers. The program is expected to train approximately 650 people and create more than 400 jobs and benefit 50 companies.
“Building a socially inclusive economy that leverages the talents and capabilities of all Canadians is critical to Canada’s economic growth and recovery,” said Vandal. “Our government’s support of these three leading organizations will put Calgary at the forefront of promoting economic diversity and inclusion, while helping to meet the technical talent and skills needs of companies in Alberta.”