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EMBERS Staffing Solutions: Amazing Social Enterprise Continues to Excel, Expands to Alberta

EMBERS Staffing Solutions’ mission is to create economic and employment opportunities for people –  one person, one job, one day a time. EMBERS Staffing is a temporary-employment social enterprise that provides companies with a socially responsible staffing service while providing workers with a ladder of opportunities to improve their skills and advance their careers. The goal is to offer short and long-term job placements as a bridge to full-time employment for people who may face barriers to employment. 

EMBERS Staffing launched in 2008. In 2013 they won the Trico Foundation Social EnterPrize in the “under $1 Million in revenue category”, the first of 14 awards bestowed on either EMBERS Staffing or its Founder and CEO, Marcia Nozick, (the Trico Foundation was honoured to nominate Marcia for the Governor General’s Innovation Award she would receive in 2022).   

That said, the road wasn’t always smooth for EMBERS Staffing. A case study commissioned by Trico revealed a number of challenges along the way, including a Board that was highly skeptical of the idea of EMBERS Staffing and a time in 2012 where they almost had to shut down. Since 2012 though, EMBERS Staffing seems to have perfected its model and has been experiencing phenomenal growth.

Early History: Number of workers employed by EMBERS Staffing from 2008 to 2013:

  • 2008: 45
  • 2009: 174
  • 2010: 344
  • 2011: 252
  • 2012: 260
  • 2013: 440

Fast forward, in 2023, EMBERS Staffing employed 1,750+ workers, paid $9.4M in wages and benefits, and generated $14M in revenue. That same year, EMBERS Staffing also expanded to Edmonton, Alberta, their first out-of-province location. EMBERS Staffing is considering other markets as well. Since the last time we connected with Founder and CEO, Marcia Nozick in early 2021, ESS’s outstanding work continues to shine in the community and grow. 

Strong partnerships are a key contributor to EMBERS Staffing’s success. Marcia states:

“We have great partnerships with organizations such as PCL Construction and Axiom through community benefit agreements. We also developed a strong relationship with EllisDon, in particular the Oakridge redevelopment site in Vancouver for which we employ 25 workers per day. One of EMBERS longest-standing partners is Darwin Construction, who supported us from the beginning and was instrumental in EMBERS getting into the construction industry and growing.”

Marcia explains that they are continuously improving their internal systems, technology, and processes to streamline EMBERS Staffing’s operations and create greater efficiencies and the best quality service. Looking to the future, Marcia concludes:

“We are looking at diversifying into other industries besides construction over the next few years, which is the majority of our jobs currently.”

EMBERS Staffing is looking forward to continue growing their social and economic impact for years to come. 

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