Ottawa invests $7 million in Calgary’s inclusive technology sector

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The federal government is investing $7 million into Calgary’s tech industry, Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced on Wednesday afternoon.

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The funding for these investments are out of the Jobs Growth Fund and the Community Economic Development and Diversification Program.

The University of Calgary is receiving $2.6 million to establish a Social Innovation Hub (SIH) to support the development and growth socially motivated businesses and social enterprise. This will include programming, space, office support and funding for experts. The project is expected to create 40 jobs and directly benefit 220 businesses and about 20 non-profits across the province over four years.

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“Complex social challenges require sustainable, community-serving solutions,” said Dr. William Ghali, vice president of research at the U of C, in a press release. “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.”

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Meticulon Consulting is getting $1.4 million to create tools and services to assist companies in hiring neurodiverse youth into tech positions in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and the RM of Wood Buffalo. The project targets 100 jobs to benefit about 80 businesses.

NPower Canada is receiving $3 million to expand and upscale its entry-level IT skills workforce development program for underrepresented, low-income and diverse workers. The program is expected to train about 650 people and create more than 400 jobs and benefit 50 businesses.

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“Building a socially inclusive economy that leverages the talents and abilities of all Canadians is critical to Canada’s economic growth and recovery,” said Vandal. “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.”

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