Michael Poirier is like many human resources managers in Canada today. He is looking for good employees. So when Mr. Poirier discovered the Aboriginal Workforce Development Initiative (AWDI), he knew he found a good thing.


"We are looking for workers," says Mr. Poirier of Imperial Manufacturing Group. "I was very happy to find out about the Aboriginal Workforce Development and I am looking forward to working with Aboriginal communities."


The Richibucto, New Brunswick-based manufacturing company has worked with AWDI to hire dozens of employees from First Nations communities across New Brunswick.  Launched in 2009, AWDI works closely with employers and Aboriginal communities to fill employment openings with Aboriginal individuals. The Fredericton-based workforce development agency does this by providing training-for-employment solutions with a focus on the sectors of Energy, Natural Resources, Forestry, Manufacturing, Construction and Environmental Technology. A partnership between government as well as Aboriginal communities and industry, AWDI has currently exceeded but one of its three year targets one year ahead of schedule.


One of the people AWDI has helped is Jonathan Augustine. The Elsipogtog First Nation resident is one of Imperial Manufacturing Group's newest employees.


"I was tired of the same old short-term jobs," says Augustine. "I wanted something different and AWDI helped me find that."


Augustine says he is very happy at Imperial Manufacturing Group and plans to further his studies while he works. He says he sees himself in a management position some day.


Karen LeBlanc is the executive director of AWDI.


“We are very pleased with our successes in linking our Aboriginal clients to training and/or employment. These successes are built on the partnership model we have developed and continue to build on. ," says LeBlanc. "Our first two years have been exciting, and we look forward to continuing to build and expand our organization and our accomplishments in the future."


For more information on AWDI, please visit




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