TechImpact, a New Brunswick industry group for information technology, is at the forefront of a private sector movement in the province to help resettle and employ knowledge workers displaced by the war in Ukraine.

The organization has created a webpage with resources for both Ukrainian refugees and companies interested in hiring them, including a link to a provincial registry of employers willing to help people fleeing the Russian invasion find work. It also sent its members an email earlier this month encouraging them to consider hiring displaced people.

David Baxter, Vice President of Marketing at Saint John-based Mariner Partners, said he believes immigrants from Ukraine could help alleviate the labour crunch squeezing Atlantic Canadian startups. Mariner, which is an umbrella company for several innovation-driven businesses and one angel group, is among TechImpact’s first members to hire someone from Ukraine — a recruitment specialist named Anna Tereshchenko.

“We have ... over the whole business, a strategy of growth,” said Baxter. “And so wherever there's opportunity and fit, we will do what we can to help bring those individuals here.”

He added that the high quality of STEM training on offer in Ukraine means many of its residents have technical skills that are highly transferable to the Canadian labour market. In particular, workers with data analytics skills are both well represented among Ukranian refugees and in high demand within Canada.

Opportunities New Brunswick, the provincial economic development agency, has a goal of helping resettle 100 Ukrainians, which could include those who find jobs with TechImpact’s help. Baxter said Mariner has no specific cap on how many people it is willing to hire, provided it needs the manpower.

“Where possible, obviously, (we are) using government programs to assist in that,” he said. “But that's not to say that we're here to just do it through those channels. Obviously, we want to help wherever we can.”