White Hat Drycleaners owner Ai Guo Zhang has been recognized by the federal government for his dedication to hiring newcomers to Canada and supporting them as they get settled in the community. Photo Submitted

White Hat Drycleaners owner Ai Guo Zhang has been recognized by the federal government for his dedication to hiring newcomers to Canada and supporting them as they get settled in the community. Photo Submitted

Vancouver Island dry cleaner earns rare national honour for supporting newcomers to Canada

Campbell River’s White Hat Drycleaners is by far the smallest business to receive IRCC award

A small Campbell River business is one of four organizations being recognized by the federal government for its efforts in helping newcomers to Canada find employment and get settled in their new communities.

Each year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in collaboration with Hire Immigrants Ottawa, recognizes the innovative efforts of businesses across Canada to improve the integration of newcomers into the labour market through its Employer Awards for Newcomer Employment program.

And White Hat Drycleaners and Commercial Laundry owner Ai Guo Zhang received the recognition in Ottawa this week. His is by far the smallest business being recognized this year, with only 10 employees, but the IRCC says the recognition isn’t about numbers, but about their efforts in reducing barriers faced by newcomers entering the labour market and improving their chances of successfully settling into their new homes.

With 7 out of 10 employees of White Hat Drycleaners being newcomers, Mr. Zhang goes above and beyond his responsibilities to ensure the successful integration of his employees in the community,” reads the IRCC release on the recognition. “He not only offers newcomers a job, but he also offers their families support in pursuit of their settlement goals and cares about their social, cultural and education needs.

“Mr. Zhang has hired several vulnerable newcomers referred to him by a local settlement service provider organization. Offering these newcomers their first experience in the Canadian workforce and on-the-job training is invaluable in their settlement journey. He says that the skill, reliability and hard work shown by his newcomer workers all play key roles in the success of his business.”

North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says Zhang’s recognition is extra special for her.

“I’ve known Aiguo since my previous work at the Immigrant Welcome Centre so it’s extra special to get to celebrate and recognize his work as Member of Parliament here in Ottawa,” Blaney says. “Settlement supports and integration into the workforce are so important for successful immigration policies. Aiguo has shown that even a small business in a small community can have an important impact.”

The other businesses recognized this year are Glen Haven Manor, one of the largest long-term care home facilities in Nova Scotia, with 300 employees, KPMG, a nationwide tax firm with over 7,000 employees and MUFG Fund Services Ltd in Halifax, with 277 permanent employees.

RELATED: Campbell River Immigrant Welcome Centre has another banner year

RELATED: Language Barriers a huge hurdle for new Canadians



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Immigration

Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Camper was found on Hollywood Crescent Wednesday night

A lift on marine border restrictions by next summer would bring an economic gain to Greater Victoria through the cruise industry. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for opening of marine borders by summer 2022

Council to ask feds to end restrictions in time to allow planning for next cruise ship season

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A float plane crashed into the waters near Painters Lodge in Campbell River on Thursday morning. Photo by Alistair Taylor / Campbell River Mirror
Float plane crashes into water near Campbell River

Pilot uninjured, plane hit sandbar while landing

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Most Read