#ImmigrationMatters in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Pablo Listingart, an entrepreneur from Argentina, tackles unemployment with tuition-free tech training.

Putting people before profit in Canada’s tech sector

Putting people before profit in Canada’s tech sector

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Transcript: “Immigration Matters in Winnipeg, Manitoba”

Video length: 3 minutes, 17 seconds

Inspiring music plays throughout.

Text displays: “Immigration Matters in Winnipeg, Manitoba”

People are walking on a street covered in snow.

A close-up shot of Pablo standing in his house. He is smiling.

Text displays: “Pablo Listingart, CEO of ComIT. Founded an IT training charity in Argentina, expanded it to Canada”

Pablo: My name is Pablo Listingart and I arrived in Canada in 2015.

Pablo is pouring coffee at home at a kitchen counter. Pablo drinks his coffee in front of a window.

Pablo: I noticed that there were a lot of professionals where they had no jobs. I started thinking about how to close that gap.

Shots of Winnipeg’s city streets in winter, with cars moving in traffic. Pablo working at his desk in his home office.

Pablo: We try to help people who can’t afford to go through university or other types of training, and then we train them in 3 months so that they can be software developers.

The exterior of Pablo’s house is shown. A medium close-up of Pablo talking on his cellphone.

Pablo: When we came to Canada I received a phone call and it was a guy who I shared an office with many years ago. He said, “We have to make a proposal to google.org. They are thinking about funding several projects, so we want to propose ComIT as one of them”.

Close-up of Pablo at his desk typing on his computer.

An aerial shot of Winnipeg is shown. A train is crossing a bridge.

Pablo: He called me back in November saying, “You got the grant”.

A classroom with a row of students sitting at computers. They are listening attentively to the teacher speaking in front of the class.

Pablo is speaking to the class. The students are listening to Pablo.

Pablo: That allowed us to hire teachers. So my work changed from being a 1-man band to actually hiring the people, and jumped from teaching 40 people per year to 300 in 2015, and over 500 in 2016.

A different classroom is shown with rows of students working at their computers.

Daniel: Pablo came and I talked to him briefly. I realized he was actually quite a brilliant software developer himself, and so I wanted to hire Pablo.

Daniel is speaking with Pablo and smiling.

Text displays: “Daniel Simair, Co-founder of SkipTheDishes, CEO of Pivot”

Pablo and Daniel are walking through a school hallway.

Pablo is speaking to Daniel in front of a classroom.

Daniel: And he told me let’s do a ComIT class. Either we’re going to have some good output from the class, or else he’d agree to come work for us.

Daniel is showing something to the students on a large video display at the front of the classroom.

Daniel: It turns out that once we got ComIT going, we hired 5 from that first class.

Daniel is talking with a student at their computer. A student handles a computer mouse.

Pablo is speaking to Daniel. Pablo laughs.

Daniel: He’s out there just trying to help people. He could be making a for-profit school, but ComIT is a non-profit. Every time he’s got more resources, another class opens up, or else he’s paying instructors or hiring people.

Students are working at their computers.

Daniel and Pablo are walking in the school’s hallway and talking. Daniel is listening to Pablo.

Daniel: So his mission is to find people jobs.

Pablo and some students are getting out of an elevator into the SkipTheDishes offices.

Ayngaran is at his desk working on his computer.

Ayngaran: I’ve been working at SkipTheDishes for about just under a year and a half. Everyone wants to be the best they can be, and it’s just a great place to work at.

Text displays: “Ayngaran Jeyaratnam, Former student of ComIT, now employed at SkipTheDishes”

An employee is talking and laughing.

Ayngaran is walking through the hallways of SkipTheDishes.

Ayngaran greets Pablo by shaking his hand.

Close-up of a teacher writing on a whiteboard in a classroom.

Students are listening to the teacher.

Ayngaran: I started at ComIT by finding a posting in the Information and Communication Technology Association of Manitoba. ComIT was offering a free Java programming course. They’ve helped me build out a good understanding of what it is to be a developer.

Ayngaran and another student are talking at her desk. A close-up of a student typing on a laptop.

Ayngaran: With the classes you can work together as a team solving problems. The way class is, it’s not just reading from a textbook, it’s more to give you the steps to keep going, in a sense.

Pablo and a group of students are walking around and visiting the SkipTheDishes offices.

Ayngaran is typing on his keyboard.

Ayngaran is talking to Pablo and laughing.

Ayngaran: By the end of the course I got a job lined up. It was insane to think about how fast you can move in your life, it was crazy. It definitely changed my life.

The scene fades to black.

Cars are driving on a street in downtown Winnipeg, past large snowbanks.

Pablo: I want people to understand that you can manage your own future by making an effort and by being true to your own values.

Pablo is walking alongside Ayngaran in the office hallways. Pablo is talking with his colleagues. They shake hands.

Pablo is walking around the office with ComIT students, showing them around.

Canadian flags wave in front of building facades in downtown Winnipeg.

Pablo: For me to make it free for people, it’s democratizing education. I came here to be able to continue doing what I was doing back in South America, but I didn’t expect to do it this fast.

Pablo is standing in the hallway of the family home, holding his infant daughter in his arms. He kisses her on the cheek.

Pablo’s wife is holding their daughter in her arms, standing in the hallway. She smiles at the camera.

Pablo and his wife are taking a walk in the snow with their daughter, who they are pulling on a sled behind them.

Pablo is smiling.

Pablo picks up his daughter from the sled.

Pablo: Along with my kids, it’s probably the greatest thing that you can feel, that you’ve helped others change their lives and their family’s lives and that they are going to do something different for the future.

So doing that for Canadians and the country that received me and that gave me the opportunity to bring my family here, it’s something that I’ve never dreamed of.

Aerial view of downtown Winnipeg.

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Immigrants enrich our communities.”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Share your story #ImmigrationMatters; Facebook: @CitCanada; Twitter: @CitImmCanada; Instagram: @CitImmCanada”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Canada.ca/immigration-matters”

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature is shown, along with the copyright message, “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2019”, followed by the Canada wordmark.

Immigration profile: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Quick facts:

  • Immigrants in Winnipeg represent a quarter (24%) of the population.
  • The Philippines is the biggest source country of immigrants in Winnipeg, followed by India and China (excludes Hong Kong and Macao).
  • A majority, 65%, of all immigrants to Winnipeg between 1980 and 2016 came as economic immigrants, while less than a quarter (22%) were sponsored by family and 13% were refugees.

Did you know?

  • There are more than 4,000 immigrant-owned businesses in the Winnipeg region and the number is growing each year.

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