Diversity Lives Here Conference 2012
Diversity Lives Here Brings Economic Leaders to Vancouver Island
Businesses on Vancouver Island face a critical time as experienced employees retire and the skilled labour market shrinks, creating a substantial knowledge gap and severely threatening their survival. Employers who are not adequately prepared for this shortage face serious problems, including a lack of skilled personnel, which can affect their bottom line and their ability to remain innovative and competitive given the global marketplace. Businesses that want to survive and grow in the coming years must embrace diversity to do so. Diversity Lives Here, held May 9 and 10 on Vancouver Island, brings together economic leaders and educators to show businesses and organizations how fostering diversity in the workplace can help them survive the upcoming labour shortage.
“The Diversity Lives Here conference is one of the more extensive conferences I have ever been involved with,” says Eric Wong, of Eric D. Wong Consulting and winner of the 2011 Cultural Harmony Award from the City of Vancouver. “The depth and breadth of the workshop facilitators and topics match and exceed those conferences that occur in the largest urban centres in North America.”
Fostering diversity opens that organization up to a global economy and increases innovation in an organization, but there are many factors involved in running a diverse workplace. Diversity is not just about hiring people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but also about managing such a workplace and ensuring that knowledge gaps are addressed when employees and managers retire. Diversity Lives Here brings together speakers from various industries and institutions to address each of the aspects of running a diverse workplace. This includes attracting and retaining diverse employees, building a sustainable talent pool, hiring foreign-born workers, evaluating credentials, managing workplaces with generation gaps and understanding changes in the labour market.
Diversity Lives Here offers vital information for businesses and organizations of any size that are concerned about how the labour shortage affects them and what they can do to survive and thrive in the coming years. The conference is also important for economic leaders, who are concerned about the impact small business owners retiring will have on local economies. As the population ages and experienced workers retire, businesses–and communities–must learn how to find, attract and retain skilled personnel–Diversity Lives Here offers the tools to do just that, giving local business leaders the confidence to seek out internationally-trained human capital.
Among the speakers at the conference are representatives of Vancouver Island’s colleges and universities, the British Columbia government, employment programs, cultural organizations and business associations. The speakers will address the labour shortage and identify ways Vancouver Island businesses can face the coming challenges while fostering diversity in the workplace and remaining competitive and innovative, ultimately increasing their bottom line.
“Vancouver Island businesses already face a massive challenge with the skilled labour shortage,” says Immigrant Welcome Centre Executive Director Rachel Blaney. “In the next five years, the labour force is projected to shrink 30 percent, which can be devastating not only to a business but to the local economy. The time to face the labour shortage and find solutions that will help our local businesses survive is now.”
Along with the seminars, attendees will have the opportunity to network with economic leaders from across Vancouver Island. Diversity Lives Here takes place on May 9 and 10, 2012, in Campbell River. Registration includes breakfast, lunch and snacks on May 10.
Diversity Lives Here is hosted by the Immigrant Welcome Centre of Campbell River. For more information on Diversity Lives Here, visit http://www.immigrantwelcome.ca/diversityconference or call 250 830-0171