Edmonton’s Oteenow Receives Funding for Indigenous Tech Job Creation
EDMONTON, April 12, 2018 – Oteenow Employment & Training Society (Oteenow) has been awarded $474,375 in federal funding from Western Diversification for its technology training and employment plans in Edmonton. The successful three-year project creates software testing skills and jobs for forty-five Indigenous youth and adults by offering a ten-month program that consists of eight months of classroom training and two months of internship with a company or government’s IT department.
Software testers run applications and programs to find bugs. The work can be done from anywhere where there is a reliable Internet connection. Much of that work has been going overseas until now. Meanwhile, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council of Canada estimates that hiring requirements for ICT jobs in Canada will be 182,000 by 2019.
The Oteenow Software Testing Program is a partnership between Oteenow and New Brunswick-based Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization Inc. (PLATO Testing), a company that seeks to address the supply and demand issue within ICT. PLATO Testing provides outsourced testing solutions to clients throughout North America, with a focus on projects that would have previously been sent offshore. Established by industry veteran, and PQA Testing founder, Keith McIntosh, PLATO Testing addresses the technology talent shortage in Canada and brings meaningful training and employment to Aboriginal people.
PLATO Testing has trained 90 Indigenous software testers in British Columbia and New Brunswick. Sixty-five work for PLATO and the rest work for other companies. The partnership between PLATO and Oteenow is the first in Alberta.
Roberta Bearhead, Executive Director of Oteenow Employment & Training, partnered with PLATO because she saw the need to focus on jobs and sectors of the future: “There is demand for tech jobs and we know there is Indigenous talent to fill those roles at all levels. Our first graduates are currently interning with Suncor, IBM, PLATO, and other companies. Doors are opening for them and Oteenow supports them through the entire process. We are very excited about this job creation program and the benefits it will bring to individuals, families, companies, and communities inAlberta.”
Oteenow Employment &Training Society connects First Nations and Inuit people who live in Edmonton and area, and who are ready for meaningful careers, with a wide range of employment and training programs, services, and opportunities so that they can become self-reliant and lead productive lives. Established in 1992, Oteenow is the only employment service agency exclusively dedicated to finding First Nations and Inuit people living in Edmonton and area, careers that work.
For further information: Lisa Baroldi at firstname.lastname@example.org or (778) 928-3706