The Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) is a community partnership made up of more than 30 council members from a variety of groups including cultural, business, academic, health and employment services, who work to help immigrants and refugees thrive in Surrey, BC. Through their collaborative efforts, knowledge and unique skills, each and every one of our council members helps focus our work on local issues and provide the information and data required to make a meaningful impact and build truly inclusive communities.
In honour of the work they do, the Surrey LIP would like to spotlight our council members to get to know them a little more. This week, we talked to Devon Franklin of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC, also referred to as IECBC.
Here’s a little more about Devon.
What is your current position title?
I’m currently the Senior Manager of Skills Validation and Strategic Initiatives at IECBC.
What does IECBC do?
The IECBC connects newcomers searching for employment with employers. We also aid employers in their aim to create more diverse and inclusive spaces.
What do you think the biggest challenge immigrants and refugees face in Surrey today?
I believe that the biggest challenge is the lack of mechanisms in place to effectively translate international skills and lived experience for employment opportunities available in Surrey. Also, the lack of access and opportunities to connect with employers and peers in their industry of interest.
What are your hopes and/or vision for a diverse, inclusive and thriving Surrey?
My hopes are that newcomers to Surrey are appreciated and empowered to utilize the skills and experiences developed prior to arriving in Canada.
What’s your favourite food?
My favourite food is fried liver and onions, mashed potatoes and green peas.
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I am learning to play the guitar!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I have just recently moved to Vancouver in July of 2021. I am excited to learn more about the local immigrant-serving community!