Walmart funds to help low-income job seekers


Shannon Rowan

The Walmart Foundation donated $500,000 USD to NPower Canada to create pathways for digital careers for 750 low-income job seekers ages 31 and over across Canada, with a focus on Black and Indigenous Canadians.

This funding will support NPower Canada to scale the impact of its programs as part of the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to create equitable advancement and pathways of opportunity for Black and Indigenous communities in Canada.

“As part of our commitment to help unlock pathways of opportunity for Black and Indigenous Canadians, we are excited to support NPower Canada’s training model and their robust system of support services,” said Shannon Rowan, Senior Manager, Opportunity at “NPower Canada’s expanded reach to more underserved communities will allow them to empower more Canadians with opportunities to reskill for the future of work.”

It is more important than ever to invest in the futures of marginalized groups who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic also accelerated digitization and automation, leaving many Canadians – of all ages – without employment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for a digitally skilled tech workforce,” said Julia Blackburn, CEO, NPower Canada. “That is why we are proud to partner with the Walmart Foundation to ensure that Canadian job seekers have opportunities to upskill and reskill through NPower Canada’s programs, providing a pathway to new careers in the digital economy.”

Julia Blackburn, CEO, NPower Canada

NPower Canada, a leader in tech workforce development, will begin accepting job seekers of all ages for their May 2022 cohort, in part thanks to generous funding from the Walmart Foundation. Their programs equip job seekers with in-demand skills and certifications employers are looking for, and their 5-years of post-program support ensure alumni are supported as they advance their careers. With the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a response to increasing demand to upskill and reskill job seekers of all ages for rewarding tech careers, in February 2022, NPower Canada announced its new mission statement to scale its impact and create greater economic opportunities for Canada’s most vulnerable populations.

NPower Canada is a charitable organization that launches underserved youth and adults, including people with disabilities, BIPOC, and LGBTQ2S+ people, into meaningful & sustainable careers in technology. Through its free in-demand digital and professional skills training programs, NPower Canada connects Canadian job seekers to employers who are looking for junior IT/tech talent. NPower Canada has grown from enrolling 87 learners in 2015 to 1,700 in 2021, scaling within Ontario and expanding nationally to Alberta in 2019 and Nova Scotia and British Columbia in 2021.

To date, more than 80% of NPower Canada’s 3400 alumni have secured in-demand tech jobs such as Help Desk Analyst, QA Specialist and Information Security Analyst with industry leaders such as Accenture, CGI, CIBC, Cisco, Deloitte, IBM, RBC, Softchoice, TD, and TELUS.