Message from the Executive Director and Chair of the Board of Director

The year 2019 was substantial. We found a new ‘north star,’ the mission of the organization, and a strategic plan was drawn. The latest environmental scan captured many opinions about our work. Our pride was to know that this agency was known to be “ahead of the curve.” Ahead of the curve in program innovation, ahead of the curve in our capacity to respond to new conditions.

Who is behind this work?

The team of front-line, Settlement Services staff. Our own first responders, who listen and carefully change the options in front of the client.

The Employment Services team who assess, prepare and support job seekers, towards the best-fit training and employment opportunities. These are the next Truck Drivers moving our supplies. The Personal Support Workers, taking risks to support the vulnerable. The Accountants, IT Professionals, Engineers…the new workers that keep our economy in motion.

The LINC Instructors, innovating in their field and responding to an evolving field of work. Our just-retired Isabella Marchese, who devoted most of her waking hours to shaping our LINC Program. For almost 10 years, Isabella continued innovating, reshaping of one of the backbones of settlement and integration.

The preschool children of those families are our clients too. Our team of Early Childhood Educators and Childcare Workers lead this brilliant work. Their accomplishments are praised by the school teachers when we graduate the children to the school system. Our joy and pride.

Behind the scenes, new technology is incorporated, creating in-house data management systems, a strong communication department, and the most excellent accounting department. There is on-going analysis, continuously taking a strategic approach and developing plans to maximize resources and accountability to our funders, our Board of Directors, our clients, and the Hamilton community at large. And to ourselves!

The year 2020 brought the news of a five-year contribution agreement with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to continue our work. Canada is counting on immigrants, and immigrants are relying on our work. We will work harder to contribute to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Our immense gratitude to all who gave us life and opportunities to say ‘yes we can,’ to our partners in service, to our donors and funders, to our volunteer board, and mostly to the community of clients for having confidence in us.

Thank you!!
Ines Rios, Executive Director

I am proud to say that IWC continues to thrive and achieve its goals of delivering outstanding settlement and employment services to newcomers in Hamilton. By all accounts, last year was a very successful one. This would not be possible without the hard work and perseverance of this Board, IWC ED Ines Rios, and IWC staff all of whom have contributed their time and skills to improve and sustain IWC. I would also like to mention the support of LIFT, in guiding our Board to create and put in practice our Strategic Plan. You can read more about the LIFT – IWC Partnership here.  

In 2019 the Board and staff developed IWC’s new mission statement, vision and strategic objectives. Moving forward through 2020, the Board will prioritize enhancing governance structures, skills and capacity. I therefore welcome our new Finance and Audit Committee, which brings our Board to impeccable fiduciary responsibility.

I want to take the time to thank everyone who volunteered their time and energy throughout the year for your commitment to our strategic goals. I want to take the opportunity to specifically recognize the 2018-2019 Board of Directors for their contributions.

IWC continues to be in solid financial health. As a not-for-profit organization, our goal is to provide excellent services to newcomers to Canada while maintaining the financial strength and transparency this Board is committed to.

In closing, it has been my honour to represent this Board as Chair. I am proud to have this opportunity that is a collective effort to lead IWC its continued success.

Maria Antelo, Chair


Accomplishments reflect activities for April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020

Now, I can say that every day I am feeling more and more in contact with the city and my neighbours. I like Hamilton and I think it is a wonderful community, a receptive community.

– Adam, TradesLink participant

IWC supported


newcomers along their settlement path in Canada, through innovative models of integrated employment-focused settlement and language programming.


newcomer clients access at least one Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada-funded Settlement Program service.


newcomers to Canada received one-on-one or family support to meet their settlement and pre-employment needs.


information and orientation services were delivered by IWC’s Settlement Counsellors.


newcomers to Canada had their settlement and pre-employment needs assessed, and worked with their IWC Settlement Counsellor to create their settlement and pre-employment action plan.


Information and Orientation group sessions were delivered, providing key settlement and community information to a total of




Childcare services were provided through IWC’s Care for Newcomer Children programming, promoting social, cognitive and motor skills development and school readiness for newcomer children.


CNC Parents’ Connections sessions were delivered to


newcomer parents, providing practical parenting information and support, and key information on community supports and services for parents in Hamilton.

IWC helped me to take the next step in continuing my career in architecture and enter the labour market. Now, I am a certified trainer and I have my own business.

– Fabian, Employment Services participant


newcomers to Canada accessed IWC’s range of Employment Services, receiving specialized, target supports for economic integration in Canada.


Newcomers to Canada accessed IWC’s IRCC-funded employment services, and received a total of


employment support services.


targeted employment group sessions were delivered to


job-seeking newcomers. Specialized group sessions include the multi-day JobPrep for Newcomers workshop, networking-focused sessions with local employers, and demand-driven topics for job search and employment readiness.

IWC’s team of Employment Specialists engaged over


employers to develop employment opportunities for newcomers to Canada in Hamilton.



job-seeking newcomers developed job-search skills, gained first-hand labour market information, and make employer connections at 10 Newcomers Club events, including 4 job fairs.

Trade certifications


internationally-trained tradespeople were supported to engage in the Ontario College of Trades Trade Equivalency Assessment Process. So far, 4 have become certified in their trade in Ontario and 17 have received approval to take the Certificate of Qualification Exam.

Personal Support Worker


newcomers completed the multi-phase Personal Support Worker Program, delivered in partnerships with Central Health Institute, becoming work-ready in this in-demand field. 88% secured employment.

There are two things about IWC that have impressed me: my teachers because they provide us with the support to go to real life, and my classmates because they have strong educational background.

– Fusako, LINC student


newcomers to Canada enhanced their English communications skills in IWC’s Employment-focused LINC English classes, including


in the specialized Fast Track to Work LINC pilot project.


newcomers completed the WorkLINC program, gaining functional, industry-specific English Communications skills, industry knowledge, employer connections and key work-ready certifications.


Learners completed a total of 44 Ontario Secondary School Credits through the IWC Academy.


of WorkLINC participants completed work-ready certifications for their industry:


Globally Harmonized WHMIS


Working at Heights


Health and Safety Awareness for Workers

We were able to meet wonderful people who were also participants in the workshop, some of them became our good friends.

– Sheryll, program participant


unique newcomer clients participated in Community Connections activities. A total of


Community Connections services were delivered.


skill-building Community Connections events were delivered, including computer skills training sessions, G1 drivers’ license preparation and Canadian citizenship preparation sessions.

Partners and collaborators

ACCESS Employment
Adult Basic Education
Advanced Welding Techniques Inc
Care for Nurses
Catholic Family Services
Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara
Central Health Institute
City of Hamilton
Commercial Heavy Equipment Training Ltd. (CHET)
Community Action Program for Children (CAPC)
Community Midwives of Hamilton
Colombian Refugees Association
Compass Community Health Centre
Empowerment Squared
Good Shepherd Centre
Halton Multicultural Council
Hamilton-Brantford Building Trades
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
Hamilton Food Share

Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council
Hamilton Midwives
Hamilton Police Services
Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre
Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
Holiday Helpers
St. Charles Adult Education Centre
Housing Help Centre
Interpretation and Translation Services
Iron Workers Local 736
IMDS International Medical Doctors
Interval House/Women’s Centre of Hamilton
Liaison College
LIFT Philanthropic Partners
LiUNA Local 837
Legal Aid Clinic

McMaster University
Mohawk College
Neighbour 2 Neighbour
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Ontario Energy
Ontario Works, Hamilton
Ontario Works, Halton
Refuge Centre for Newcomer Health
Skills For Change
Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton
St. Matthew’s House
Stoney Creek Community Food Bank
United Way Simcoe Muskoka
Welcome Inn
Wesley Urban Ministries
Workers Health and Safety Centre
Workforce Planning Hamilton
YMCA of Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford
YWCA of Hamilton


Donor list reflects donations made from January 2019 to April 2020.

Canada Helps
Helen Carating
Leanne Cecil
Lauren Dayes
Eshe Despress
Courtney Earl
Laura Fenwick-Sehl
Nisha Fernandes
Ekrem Kolcuoglu
Ever Perez
Daniella Prado
Gentiana Rezhda
Jean Simpson
Miekela Singh
Patricia Strachan
John Vedell
Kathryn Webb
Wish and Give
Allan Yee


Financial statements

All right reserved. Copyright  2020. IWC Hamilton.

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