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Workforce Development Officer

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Big news from the Brooks Newell Region Economic Development Team: we have a new team member! Clarisse Dela Cruz has recently joined our team and will be taking over as our Workforce Development Officer. Passionate about being involved in the community, an advocate of children and youth, and a lover of literature, Clarisse was born in the Philippines, migrated to Montreal, Quebec in 2005, then moved to the Brooks Newell Region in 2011. Her experience at BCIS in working with newcomer’s transition allowed her to get to know and connect with the local partners and major employers to promote outreach and job opportunities in the Brooks Newell Region.

The Workforce Development Officer position was created in 2023 to help tackle the workforce crisis being experienced in our Region. Without access to skilled labour, many of the key industries in our Region suffer and are limited in terms of capacity and growth. One of the key focus areas within the Brooks Newell Region’s Economic Development Strategic Plan is to focus on Business Retention and Expansion for local businesses but this has been very difficult amidst this skilled labour crisis. It needs no emphasis that hiring and retention of full-time/permanent workers has been a continuous struggle for rural employers and it is increasingly challenging to sustain business activities without adequate staffing.

To address the issue, the Brooks Newell Region, along with partner Community Futures Entre Corp, will be funding this position to focus on:

  • Workforce Attraction (promoting our Region as an amazing place to live and work and bringing in skilled labour for hard-to-fill vacancies)
  • Workforce Development (helping local youth and the underemployed get the skills and training they need for the jobs available here)
  • Workforce Retention (making sure employers have the tools they need to settle and retain skilled workers)
  • Employer Education (connecting business owners with the most up to date practices in Human Resources and local funding/support programs)

A large part of Clarisse's role will be the management and implementation of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program. The Brooks Newell Region was the first community in Alberta to be designated under both the Rural Renewal and Rural Entrepreneur Stream and have been provincial leaders in the program which attracts and endorses skilled labourers to work in our community. 

Business owners and operators in the Region are sure to benefit from Clarisse's passion for helping others, knowledge of immigration, and enthusiastic energy. Make sure to say hi if you see Clarisse out working with local businesses in the Brooks Newell Region! You can also contact her by emailing cdelacruz@brooks.ca