TalentED YYC Executive Director D'Andre Wilson-Ihejirika awarded CRIEC's Black People Making History

February 15, 2024
Leadership Technology Talent
TalentED YYC Executive Director awarded CRIECs Black People Making History in Calgary

Photo credit: CRIEC

On Feb. 6, 2024, TalentED YYC Executive Director D'Andre Wilson-Ihejirika was recognized as one of the Black People Making History in Calgary and its surrounding areas by the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC). 

D’Andre was specifically recognized for her achievements in and contributions to educational services and the technology industry. 

In her current role as TalentED YYC Executive Director, D’Andre works with local post-secondary institutions, businesses and non-profit organizations to strengthen work-integrated learning (WIL) in the city. TalentED YYC is a resource platform that is part of a pilot project being championed by Calgary Economic Development and supported by 9 additional community partners.

“D’Andre is an inspiring leader to the TalentED YYC team and everyone at Calgary Economic Development,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development and CEO, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. 

“She continues to make an impact in the lives of young people across Calgary, and this award is very well-deserved. Calgary Economic Development and our city are better because of D’Andre.” 

Under D’Andre’s leadership, Calgary Economic Development successfully launched TalentED YYC in April 2023. TalentED YYC is a new online platform to help Calgary employers navigate engaging students in their organizations for practical work experiences. 

“It is an honor to be recognized alongside a number of people that I admire. It was very humbling, but it's also satisfying to know that the work the TalentED YYC team and I are doing is being recognized,” said D’Andre. 

“We've been building this initiative and working with our partners in the seven post-secondaries and business community, which is a lot of work and effort. The most inspiring part about this award is to know that people are seeing our impact.” 

D’Andre has helped grow the TalentED YYC team to 18 employees, hired 14 summer interns, strengthened relationships with community partners and generated buzz about work-integrated learning in Calgary and beyond.  

Recently, TalentED YYC hosted Innovate Inclusion: Case Competition to celebrate Black History Month and help redefine workplace inclusion. Black, post-secondary students were invited to create innovative solutions to encourage workplace inclusion for the City of Calgary. 

“We're just getting started - there are thousands more businesses, non-profits and students we can engage. We want businesses to know that they can hire a student who can make a huge, meaningful impact at their organization.” 

From newcomers to those who’ve called Calgary home their entire lives, Black Calgarians are leaders, entrepreneurs and significant contributors to a prosperous economy in the city. 

TalentED YYC is an innovative pilot project and a key driver of the attraction, retention and development of skilled talent. Building a city where everyone is welcome, safe and able to build a meaningful life is a priority in Calgary’s economic strategy. 

About D'Andre Wilson-Ihejirika 

D’Andre is a licensed professional engineer (P.Eng), project management professional (PMP) and acts as a mentor with Black Engineers Canada. She is pursuing a PhD in engineering education, focusing on the alignment of student experiences to career pathways for underrepresented groups. 

D’Andre is leading research on Black experiences in STEM through the Canadian Black Scientists Network. She sits as the co-chair of the EDI group for the Canadian Engineering Education Association, Executive Board Member for the LearningCITY Collective, as well as President of the Board for non-profit BrainSTEM Alliance, where she oversees the design and delivery of programming for underrepresented youth in STEM. D'Andre is also a wife and mother to three young children. 

About the CREIC’s Black People Making History in Calgary 

In celebration of Black History Month, CRIEC is recognizing the top – Black People Making History in Calgary and its surrounding area. As newcomers in Calgary, our heritage may not be ingrained into Calgary’s history; however, we are part of history in the making, with significant contributions to the economy, environment, and the moral social fabric at the micro and macro level.    

History matters because it helps us as individuals and societies to understand how our communities evolved – and what they value. As such, it is important that Black immigrants embrace Black History Month. It is also important that we (CRIEC) recognize Black immigrants for their significant contributions and impact in Calgary (and its surrounding areas) today. 

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