Business Support Services

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program – Addressing Labour Shortages

Whitecourt is proud to be a Designated Community under the Rural Renewal Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). Under this program, the Town of Whitecourt will support economic development by attracting newcomers that are qualified to fill vacant, full-time, permanent positions in the community and attract entrepreneurs, new investment, and new businesses. The AAIP is an economic immigration program that nominates individuals for permanent residence in Alberta.  Newcomers that participate under this program will receive nomination for permanent residency which will allow them to stay working, living, and contributing to our community.

There are two streams of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program being offered in Whitecourt:

Rural Renewal Stream – Employers looking to fill vacant workforce positions can work with our economic development team to recruit and retain foreign nationals to live, work and settle in our community.

Rural Entrepreneur Stream –  Entrepreneurs looking to start a business or are prepared to invest in an existing business in our community will work with our economic development team on new opportunities. 

The Rural Renewal Stream offers eligible workers an opportunity to immigrate to Whitecourt with the formal support of the Town of Whitecourt through a nomination process by the Economic Development Committee. The program will be used to attract and retain newcomers and support employers to fill vacancies. This will support workforce development by helping employers meet labour demands, expand skilled workforce and support community and economic growth.

EMPLOYER ELIGIBILITY

Employers that wish to fill job vacancies using the Rural Renewal Stream must meet a series of criteria and provide a genuine offer of employment.

  • Employers must be incorporated, or registered by or under, an act of the legislature of a province, territory, or the Parliament of Canada and operating within the municipal boundaries of the Town of Whitecourt
  • Work place offers or contracts must be signed by the employee and employer, and must provide:
    • continuous, paid work in Whitecourt
    • full-time work, defined as a minimum of 30 hours per week, employment for 12 months or more, and wages and benefits that meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for your occupation across all industries in Alberta.
  • Job Opportunities must be available to Canadians first, at the same pay and working conditions. Under the AAIP, there are some ineligible occupations.
  • Employers must meet all eligibility criteria under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program's Rural Renewal Stream prior to issuing an offer of employment. Please review the available information carefully.
  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment is not required, but demonstrated efforts to recruit locally, provincially and nationally is required.
  • Employers are required to demonstrate knowledge of the responsibilities of welcoming newcomers and providing a warm and welcoming environment. A business looking to participate in the program must demonstrate that they have knowledge of the employer's responsibilities with respect to federal and provincial immigration laws and regulations. The following are resources that prospective employers are encouraged to review prior to recruiting:
  • A safe welcoming workplace creates an environment where all employees are valued and respected. Employers must provide a safe welcoming workplace. For more information on safe and welcoming workplaces visit the alis.ca

Business owners/managers that meet these criteria and would like to participate in the Rural Renewal Stream should contact economicdevelopment@whitecourt.ca.

All employers will be required to submit a completed Employer Application Form.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

Applicants that wish to participate in the program must meet a series of criteria, receive an authentic job offer from an eligible employer, get endorsed by the Town of Whitecourt through the Economic Development Committee and apply using the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program portal.

  • Before applying for an employment opportunity, candidates are encouraged to review, understand and ensure they meet all eligibility requirements under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.
  • Once a candidate is confident they meet the eligibility requirements, they may apply for employment with employers located within the Town of Whitecourt. Applications must be made directly to the employer.
  • Once you receive a job offer from an employer, your employer will present the job offer to the Economic Development Officer to be reviewed and recommended to receive endorsement.
  • After receiving an Endorsement of Candidate letter the candidate can then submit their application through theAAIP Portal. The candidate will be notified by the Government of Alberta if they are eligible for nomination. At the time the application is submitted and at the time the AAIP assesses your application, you must intend to and be able to work, reside, and settle in Whitecourt.

For more information on job opportunities under the AAIP program contact economicdevelopment@whitecourt.ca

The Rural Entrepreneur Stream is an opportunity for Whitecourt to offer permanent residency to entrepreneurs who want to start a new business or invest in an existing business within the Town of Whitecourt. The program will provide an opportunity to help expand the local economy and support succession planning for our local business community.

ELIGIBILITY:

Entrepreneurs and investors looking to start a business or buy an existing business in Whitecourt can submit an Expression of Interest to the Rural Entrepreneur Stream.  To confirm your eligibility to the Rural Entrepreneur Stream click here or use the self-assessment tool to find out if you meet the basic requirements. Begin Self-Assessment

PLEASE NOTE - All candidates must review, understand and meet all program eligibility criteria before applying for available positions within the community.

If all eligibility requirements are met, candidates may apply for a position being offered in the Town of Whitecourt. Applications are made directly to the employer outlined in the job postings.

Candidates are encouraged to review the job postings carefully and only submit an application for a position that meets your skills, education, and experience. It is important that applicants clearly demonstrate in the application how they will meet all the mandatory requirements of the position.

Esso

FasGas

Four Seasons

GLS Food Services

KFC

Subway

 

Thinking of Doing Business with the Town of Whitecourt?

The Town of Whitecourt posts all public tenders to our website here.  Learn about current bid and contract opportunities available to consultants, service providers, contractors, vendors, or suppliers. 

For provincial procurement opportunities, visit the Alberta Government Purchasing Connection here.

YOUR BUSINESS MATTERS

The Town of Whitecourt recognize the value existing businesses bring to the community and we want to connect with you! The Whitecourt Business Visitation Program is a part of the Town’s business retention strategy and has been created to enable our Economic Development Team to gather information which will help shape our future programs, policies and resources to assist our business community. Using this information, we can help direct you to relevant resources and support and our team will be better equipped to represent the interests of Whitecourt Businesses.

We also recognize that business success is the result of forces working together and we have teamed up with Community Futures Yellowhead East, Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce and Alberta Government and Immigration to offer additional resources through a joint business visit along with our partners.

Key Objectives

  • Provide business owners with a single point of contact within the Town of Whitecourt and enhance communication between staff and the business community.
  • Express our appreciation to businesses that have chosen to establish operations in Whitecourt;
  • Meet with owners and operators to learn about business operation, future plans, and barriers to business operation within the Town of Whitecourt;
  • Highlight success stories and give businesses in our community recognition and exposure;
  • Gather information to assist with referring customers to suppliers;
  • Assist the Economic Development department with establishing key priorities to improve programming, competitiveness, enhance infrastructure, and increase and develop viable local export markets;
  • Act as an avenue to connect local companies with resources to support growth, expansion, retention, and networking opportunities; and
  • Discuss services and resources available within the government (Municipality, Regional, Provincial and/or Federal).

How to Participate

If your business would like to participate in Town of Whitecourt’s Business Visitation Program or schedule a group visit with our partners, please connect with Rhonda Hough, Economic Development Officer at rhondahough@whitecourt.ca or 780-778-2273.

The Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit action organization designed to meet the business needs of our community. It is a voluntary organization of progressive individuals and businesses that work together to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of the Whitecourt and Woodlands County business community.

Follow the Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, or contact the Chamber Office at 780-778-5363.

The Town of Whitecourt and our project partners received the 2015 Alex Metcalfe Award from Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) in recognition of the development of the Whitecourt Business Support Network.

Created in 2014, Whitecourt's Business Support Network is a partnership endeavor by the following organizations:

  • Town of Whitecourt
  • Woodlands County
  • Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
  • Alberta Works
  • Community Futures
  • Business & Industry
  • Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce

The goals of the Network are to:

  • Contribute to the long-term sustainability of Whitecourt and Woodlands County
  • Provide a forum to share ideas, and exchange information on current labour market trends to identify and address workforce issues.

Meetings are held on the third Monday of the month at noon. New participants are welcome!

For more information on Business Support Network please contact:

  • Kristy Tuts, Workforce Consultant for Alberta Jobs Skills Training and Labour, at 780-778-7189
  • Rhonda Hough, Whitecourt Economic Development Officer, at 780-778-2273.

For over 25 years, Community Futures Yellowhead East has been helping people turn business ideas into reality in rural Alberta. Small business specialists will connect you with skills, financing, and resources you need to succeed.

What Is The Collective?

The Town of Whitecourt has partnered with Community Futures Yellowhead East and Project Gazelle to create an inclusive hot desk coworking solution for entrepreneurs and small business owners designed to be a fully functioning shared work desk environment. Whether you are a new entrepreneur working on your business plan, an existing business or home-based business looking for a flexible working space solution, or a business owner traveling in the community needing a space to connect this is the perfect affordable short-term solution for your business needs.  

Benefits include:

  • An Affordable Office Space Solution: Fully furnished with the necessary office equipment, resources and supports to support your business and no overhead costs.
  • No Lease:The Collective is designed to be an occasional short-term work space to help advance your business. The risk is minimal with no long-term contracts binding you and an opportunity to get your business plan it the works.
  • Access To Business Supports: Support staff are onsite and available to respond to inquiries relating to business coaching, business training, business financing, and information on ongoing programs, projects and initiatives.
  • Business Resources: Access to a resource library including all the latest local business requirements and contacts to support your business needs.
  • Shared Equipment: Laptops, printing stations, meeting room, free coffee, telephone services, conference phone options, and a photo booth service for businesses looking to showcase their products and expand marketing opportunities.
  • Networking and Partnerships: Develop life-long business relationships and networking opportunities with other small business owners.

The Collective Coworking Space is located in the Community Futures Yellowhead East office at Unit 1, 5023 - 50 Ave, Whitecourt, Alberta.

Drop in or book your space by connecting with cfyeadmin@albertacf.com or 780-706-3500.

Small businesses now have access to a new streamlined website which provides a "one-stop-shop" for government service information at smallbusiness.alberta.ca. The website provides information on:

  • How to start and operate a business;
  • Resources on regulation, funding and other topics; and
  • Strategies and initiatives to help a small business grow.

 

In addition, through the "Ask the Expert" service, business advisors will be available to help small businesses navigate government business programs, supports, and regulatory information. They can be contacted via the website linked above or at 1-844-422-7705.

Business support programs and associations

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Futurpreneur

Startup Canada

Find a loan for your small business

Business Link