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This Canadian tech park is attracting global talent to boost Ottawa’s economic recovery

The talent push aims to further position Ottawa as a leading tech capital.

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A tech park in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata is launching a multi-faceted effort to attract international tech workers to the area to help its pandemic recovery. 

The Kanata North Business Association (KNBA), the business development arm of the Kanata North Tech Park, announced today its Discover Technata 2.0 talent attraction platform, which aims to build upon the 23,000 skilled tech employees working at the more than 540 companies in the park. The plan consists of virtual career fairs, talent roadshows and a new job board to highlight all the tech opportunities available in Kanata North.

“Kanata North is a globally significant technology innovation cluster and a major contributor to Ontario’s and Ottawa’s respective economies.” — Jamie Petten, President at Kanata North Business Association.

In August, Ottawa’s jobless rate had nearly tripled compared to its pre-pandemic rate, creating a need for valuable tech positions like these. Businesses in the park are major players in innovative industries like 5G wireless networking, software-as-a-service, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, assembly and manufacturing, cybersecurity, and others. 

“Kanata North is a globally significant technology innovation cluster and a major contributor to Ontario’s and Ottawa’s respective economies,” said Jamie Petten, President at Kanata North Business Association. “KNBA remains focused on initiatives that will foster innovation within the city of Ottawa. We aim to further position this region as one of the worlds’ leading tech capitals by helping drive the growth of the business area. At the same time, we’re offering greater opportunities to talented professionals from around the world, and giving them a chance to thrive in our innovation center.”

With the current prevalence of remote work policies, more job opportunities are opening in the area for consultants, auditors, sales and marketing professionals, finance experts, and suppliers. There is also an exponentially growing demand for research and development careers, especially those related to connectivity and 5G. Kanata North has become known for its position as one of the world’s primary 5G tech hubs, with innovative businesses and startups leading the way in research and development of the next generation of telecommunications tech.

Sir Terry Matthews, Image Credit: Alacrity Foundation

“There is unprecedented growth taking place worldwide related to 5G wireless broadband networks and solutions,” said Sir Terry Matthews, the billionaire business magnate behind one of Canada’s most successful telecoms, Mitel, and who also owns properties in the tech park. “Investments are being made around the globe in the communications industry, which will result in significant economic growth for the areas where the tech suppliers are prominent … Initiatives such as those led by the Kanata North Business Association will ensure continued growth for our global 5G and other leaders for years to come.”

In October, the Discover Technata’s Virtual Career Fair hosted more than 17,000 guests, who showed interest in connecting with businesses in the park. KNBA will be holding a virtual roadshow to showcase all the opportunities the park’s businesses have to offer to people from Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, and Vancouver who are looking for work. 

Throughout the sprawling Kanata North area of offices, labs and residential spaces, giant multinational brands like Blackberry QNX, Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei share a community with up-and-coming startups like Youi.tv, Solace, and Martello. 

“Canada’s tech companies continue to innovate and grow, even remotely,” — Jason Flick, CEO at You.i TV.

The park’s work-life balance is another selling point for potential workers coming to the area, as more than 50 percent of employees in the park live within five kilometers of their office. The tech park is also home to a pair of universities and an autonomous vehicles public test track, which made Ottawa the first city in Canada to start testing self-driving vehicles within live city infrastructure. 

Ottawa was named Canada’s best tech hub to live and work in 2017, and has become notable for its concentration of research and development jobs, as well as opportunities for scientists and engineers.

“Canada’s tech companies continue to innovate and grow, even remotely,” said Jason Flick, CEO at You.i TV, one of the emerging startups that calls the Kanata North tech park home. “KNBA has been essential to help companies like ours extend our recruiting reach by attracting tech talent, and seasoned business leaders to help us scale and grow our business.”

 

Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company. 

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