2020 Governor General’s Innovation Award Laureate
About the Innovation:
With a mission to help people rediscover hope and self-sufficiency through meaningful work opportunities, the social enterprise Embers Staffing Solutions (ESS) launched in 2008. For 11 years, ESS has provided temporary and transitional jobs to people facing multiple barriers through low-barrier employment opportunities, helping thousands of individuals transform their lives and, in turn improve the health and safety of the communities in which they reside. ESS is self-sustaining and invests 100% of its profits back into the community through higher hourly wages, equipment and training for workers. In 2018 alone, the organization employed 1,900 people and paid out over $6.5 million in wages and benefits.
About the Innovator:
In 2001, Marcia Nozick founded EMBERS (Eastside Movement for Business and Economic Renewal Society) as a community economic development charity with a mission to create economic and employment opportunities for people living on low incomes in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Driven by a passion for building sustainable communities, Marcia’s leadership at EMBERS over the past 18 years has helped thousands of people facing work barriers lead productive lives by providing access to self- employment education, job placements, training and support.
In 2008, Marcia broke new ground by launching EMBERS Staffing Solutions (ESS), an award- winning temporary staffing agency. Her goal was to create flexible, short-term work placements for people looking to re-enter the workforce. A social enterprise, ESS is self-sustaining and invests 100% of its profits back into the community through higher hourly wages, equipment, and training for workers. Since 2008, ESS has been able to have a tremendous social impact. In 2018 alone, the organization employed 1900 people and paid out over $6.5 million in wages and benefits.