Workforce Strategies grant

Funding for projects that address labour and skills shortages and support Alberta’s economic recovery.


As part of Alberta at Work, Workforce Strategies grants support organizations with innovative solutions that will help Albertans develop new skills and assist employers and industry to grow their workforce.

Eligible projects

The Workforce Strategies grant has 3 streams. Each stream has different activities and outcomes. Eligible applicants could apply to the following:

  1. Skills Development Stream – to support the re-skilling of unemployed Albertans by providing training and/or services resulting in new skills development and employment. 
  2. Regional and Employer-Focused Stream – to support region or employer-led projects that address regional workforce challenges.
  3. Industry-Focused Stream – to support industry-led projects that address provincial workforce needs.

Grant recipients

  • 2023-24 grant recipients

    Industry-focused stream

    Western Retail Lumber Association

    This project will address workforce challenges by developing a career fair presence in Alberta, increasing public awareness of careers in the industry while supporting recruitment and retention, developing a first of its kind, industry-led building materials fundamentals course to support onboarding and developing a succession series professional development course to be delivered by industry.

    Outdoor Council of Canada

    This project aims to improve the resiliency of the labour market by increasing the professionalism, skills and standards of the workforce by integrating Tourism HR Canada’s Tourism Competency Framework (the Framework) within Alberta’s outdoor tourism industry. The Framework is a comprehensive library of competencies covering the broad range of skills associated with Canadian tourism jobs. It improves understanding of skills for the sector, fosters learner and labour mobility, and contributes to increased productivity by informing HR practices.

    Edmonton Global

    This project will develop a training program for emergency responders to address hydrogen-related accidents. Training is intended for emergency services personnel and other key public and private sector job categories such as tow truck operators, and fuel handlers.

    Elevate Aviation Ltd

    This project will address imminent labour shortages and enhance the skills and preparedness of the future aviation workforce by leveraging innovative technology and fostering industry collaboration to deliver foundational aircraft maintenance training in a virtual environment.

  • 2022-23 grant recipients

    Skills Development Stream

    Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

    The Culinary Skills Training Program for Newcomers combines essential workplace and occupational-based skills and access to the labour market for unemployed or marginally employed participants. The program will enable newcomers to familiarize themselves with the norms and expectations of Canadian food service workplaces while developing and applying their skills during a mentored work exposure in the industry.

    Contact: Mikayla Stevens
    Phone: 780-423-9509 or 780-424-7709
    Email: [email protected]

    Prospect Human Services Society

    The Long-Term Unemployment and the Shifting Labour Market Program is a partnership between Prospect Human Services Society (Prospect) and the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). The project will address long-term unemployment through an industry partnership designed to deliver a multi-pronged, integrated workplace learning and employability skill development program, while simultaneously demonstrating an alternate pathway for the hospitality industry to address labour shortages.

    Contact: Eman Vulas, Program Manager
    Phone: 403-542-7916 (direct) or 1-877-483-2562 (main line)

    NorQuest College

    The Streamlining Employability in the Supply Chain Sector through Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR) Program will provide participants who have supply chain experience with the support they need for successful job market attachment. The project supports the near-ready pool of candidates who do not need training in supply chain fundamentals and instead would benefit from soft skills development and other support to overcome the barriers preventing them from landing employment. This program will have a series of online, Supply Chain Canada - validated PLAR competency assessments that will build on known aspects for success in the industry. Personalized upskilling plans, career coach support and work experience will also be included and will help fast-track participants to careers in supply chain.

    Contact: Zeina Sleiman, Project Manager
    Phone: 780-999-3813
    Email: [email protected]

    Portage College

    The Class 3 Driving to Work Program will provide Class 3 driver training, safety and workplace certifications, and employment skills training to participants. The program will support regional learners experiencing long-term unemployment and those seeking to change career pathways to meet local, regional, and provincial labour market demands. Instruction will take place at Lac La Biche, Cold Lake, and St. Paul campuses with an emphasis on serving equity deserving groups.

    Contact: Portage College
    Phone: 780-623-5631
    Email: [email protected]

    NorQuest College

    The Virtual Reality (VR) Soft Skills Training Program will provide rapid critical upskilling through tailored VR simulations designed to build and refine the soft skills needed to succeed in today’s workplace. Participants will include students nearing the completion of their program, the public who are unemployed and looking for work, and employers wanting to improve their HR skills and methods. The program also plans to expand to rural areas of the province once established at Norquest’s main campus in Edmonton.

    Contact: Gail Kesslar
    Phone: 1-833-405-9919
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: Virtual reality soft skills training

    Indian Resource Council (IRC)

    The Environmental Monitoring and Drone Technology Certificate Program will train First Nation Participants in Indigenous communities to effectively manage, conduct, design, and report on environmental monitoring to meet the critical shortage of environmental monitors and technicians in the reclamation, remediation, and restoration of thousands of well sites on 32 First Nations across Alberta. This certified training will also allow individuals to obtain transferable skills to work for Indigenous-owned entities and other services companies that employ trained personnel to provide services to local industries, including forestry, mining, power utilities, oil and gas, construction, and agriculture. IRC will partner with the Yellowhead Tribal College in Edmonton and Red Crow Community College in Standoff. The training will help participants develop their employability skills, obtain hands-on work experience, pursue green careers, and connect with local and regional environmental service companies while incorporating traditional Indigenous teachings.

    Contact: Winona Lafreniere, Project Manager
    National Energy Business Centre of Excellence
    Indian Resource Council
    Phone: 403-483-3120
    Email: [email protected]

    Being Human Services

    The Newcomer Pathways to Success Program is targeted to unemployed or marginally employed newcomers with a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level ranging from 4-7 who have completed or have not attended Language Instruction for Newcomers program (LINC). The program will provide skill building, (including ESL) and workplace connection to the Tourism and Hospitality sectors leading to employment. Participants will build their employability and essential skills specific to the targeted sectors. Occupational training will be delivered via classroom, a simulated workplace environment via WonderTech, short courses, and work experience opportunities. Participants will benefit from a supported job search connecting them to employment and receive ongoing support for three months after placement.

    Contact: Being Human Services
    Phone: 403-580-3338
    Email: [email protected]
    In person: 222 South Railway Street SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta
    Website: Being Human Services

    Inception U Educational Foundation Ltd

    The Tech Adjacent Development Program will provide training for in-demand tech-adjacent roles including Growth Marketing, Lean Sales, Customer Success, Solution Sales, Full Stack Design and Low Code/No Code Training. The program will focus on underrepresented groups, such as youth, women, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, racialized communities, older worker, LGBTQ2S+ and persons with disabilities.

    Contact: Inception U
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: InceptionU

    ReSkill Calgary

    The PathwayPro program will connect internationally trained newcomer professionals with a tech background to jobs in the tech sector within Alberta. The participants will acquire experience building software products, enhance their tech portfolios, receive personalized coaching, and attend group workshops on essential competencies, soft skills, and future-of-work readiness. The program will be a 13-week part-time, virtual program.

    Contact: ReSkill Calgary
    Phone: 780-729-2639

    Higher Landing

    The Women Rising Program offers unemployed Alberta female professionals an intensive blend of professional and personal development, coaching, and mentorship. This results-driven initiative will close critical employment gaps and barriers faced by female professionals in advancing their careers. Participants will network with female professionals; build a compelling personal brand and market themselves to decision makers and leverage participant’s skills to explore new job opportunities and re-enter the workforce after a period of unemployment.

    Contact: Higher Landing
    Phone: 1-888-973-6040
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: Women Rising Program

    Industry-Focused Stream

    Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

    Growing and Supporting Diversity in the Recreation and Parks Labour Force will develop and implement tailored attraction and retention strategies for equity-deserving groups to support career pathing opportunities, training, professional development, mentorship and work experience to improve employment success and advancement within the sector. The project will also work with employers to ensure that their workplaces are safe and welcoming and ready to support equity-deserving groups by developing and sharing resources, toolkits and education focused on employer policies, processes, and procedures.

    Contact: Alberta Recreation & Parks Association
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: Alberta Recreation & Parks Association

    Trucking HR Canada

    HR Connects: Growing the HR capacity of Alberta’s Trucking and Logistics companies will address the trucking and logistics industry’s labour needs, with a focus on supporting employers in their efforts to build diverse, equitable and inclusive workspaces.

    Contact: Trucking HR Canada
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: Trucking HR Canada

    Regional and Employer-Focused Stream

    Tolko Industries Limited

    The Tolko Youth Works Development Program will support the development of skills for Indigenous youth in occupations that have seen an increase in automation and digitization within the forestry sector. The program provides a seven-week paid work experience opportunity for youth to develop occupational and professional skills, essential skills training and build economic capacity.

    Contact: Sherri Roger
    Email: [email protected]


For information on industry, regional and Indigenous grants, see Workforce Partnerships.