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Career Edge Blog

Celebrating and promoting abilities

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This year at the Vancourver 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada showed the world that we truly have a heart of gold – we topped the podium more than any other country ever. I’m not sure which I heard more of,  I Believe (CTV’s offical song of the Olympics) or O Canada. We should all know both by heart now.

Now, the celebrations continue in Vancouver as the coveted torch arrives again, this time for the 2010 Paralympic Games. The Paralympic Flame will once again be brought into BC Place for the Opening Ceremony this evening which will be broadcast live to Vancouver, and aired again by CTV tomorrow for the rest of Canada.

torch relayHere at Career Edge Organization, we have been promoting Abilities in our own way, by creating internship opportunities and launching the careers of graduates of Canadian high schools, colleges and universities with disabilities through our Ability Edge paid internship program.

Last week, Ability Edge participated in two excellent events at post-secondary institutions.

On March 3rd, we were at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus participating as panelists, alongside representatives from TD Bank Financial Group, PepsiCo, Ontario Public Service, National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and IBM – many of whom are Host Employers to our paid internship programs. In fact, RBC was recently awarded with the Ability Edge Program of the Year Award at our annual Achievement Awards.

The following day we were at George Brown College presenting at “Future Directions 2010,” which was a very well organized and well attended event aimed at connecting students who have disabilities with employers, advice and resources.

As the games carry on in Vancouver, we applaud the champion employers and partner organizations who carry the torch in their organizations!

We’ll be watching the games closely – be sure to check back for updates on the Opening Ceremonies,  Sledge Hockey and other major Paralympic events!

Reflections on the Achievement Awards

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Last week on Wednesday, February 24 Career Edge Organization gathered partners, employers, interns, alumni, board members, leaders and ambassadors to celebrate the 2009/10 Achievement Awards. The response at and since the event has been overwhelmingly positive!

The food and decor was exquisite – we have never been prouder to be members of the Toronto Board of Trade! With Oliver & Bonacini behind their events and catering, everything was top-notch.

Achievement Awards_Food

The entire Career Edge Organization team was on hand to hand out awards during the ceremony.

After enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres during the networking hour our own Janice Rudkowski (Director of Marketing and Communications by day, MC by night) kicked off the evening following by President and CEO of Career Edge Organization, Anne Lamont with a warm welcome.

John King, the Executive Vice President and CAO of St. Micael’s Hospital was the first recipient of the night, honoured with the Leadership Award for his dedication and commitment to the Career Bridge program, and was presented with an original piece of artwork from the Petroff Gallery.

John King, Anne Lamont, Minister Takhar

Another highlight of the night was Minister Harinder Takhar’s address to the audience. The Government of Ontario was among our event sponsors and the Ontario Public Service (OPS) was an award recipient.

Other big winners of the night include Scotiabank, First National Financial, Webcom, Bell Canada, RBC and AMR Process Inc. For a full list of winners, click here or download a PDF of the Achievement Awards Program where you can view winner photos, profiles and more:

The theme of the night was “Real People, Real Talent, Real Success” whose stories we told through framed portraits and testimonials stationed throughout the room, postcard photographs on all the cruiser tables, experiential multi-media slideshows and professional videos profiling our Mentor and Intern of the Year Award recipients: Andrea, Katie, Asma, Patricia and Richard.

The videos are now on the Achievement Awards website here:

We have dozens of fantastic photos from the night which you can see on our Flickr “Talent Showcase”!

A big thank you to everyone who made this event possible – the guests who missed the Olympic Canada/Russia hockey game to be there (hopefully you caught the end of it…I heard it was a great game!), the sponsors, our staff and the incredible volunteers, many of whom are Alumni (former interns) and sit on our Alumni Network Committee.

We can’t wait to do it all again next year! If you have any comments or suggestions about the event, don’t hesitate to let us know!

Real talent, real stories, real success: Celebrating the 2009/10 Achievement Awards

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Tonight is the night that many of us at Career Edge Organization have been waiting for. Our staff has been hard at work ensuring that the 2009/10 Achievement Awards is a flawlessly executed event enjoyed by all of our guests including host employers, partner organizations, government officials, interns and alumni. We are looking forward to seeing familiar and new faces at the Toronto Board of Trade this evening.

Career Edge Organization recognizes our talent, partnerships and successes annually and the Achievement Awards have become a highly anticipated event in the Canadian business community, particularly in and around the GTA.

We could not pull this off without the support of our incredible sponsors: Scotiabank, RBC, TD Bank, Government of Ontario, Manulife Financial and sponsoring supplier Petroff Gallery.

Not only has our staff been hard at work – our extended family of event planners, graphic designers, photographers, video producers, printers, venue/caterers,  volunteers, and many others are also to credit for tonight’s anticipated success.

Tonight is our opportunity to share the incredible stories that our team is privileged to hear every day – inspiring stories of recent graduates, graduates with disabilities and internationally qualified professionals rising to the challenge of a meaningful paid internship experience and going above and beyond expectations; mentors who have changed the lives of others and in the process grown and learned so much themselves; organizations that have created these opportunities in an inclusive and welcoming environment that really takes the term “host” to another level; leaders who have created a special place for our programs within their organizations.

Tonight is the night we celebrate and recognize all of our achievements and hard work – fingers crossed it will be the best one yet!

John Tory interview with Mayor Hazel McCallion on the Mississauga Jobs Summit (and a shout-out to Career Bridge!)

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Click here to go directly to the audio clip

Last week Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion held the “Mayor’s Job Creation Summit,” to gather insights and ideas from key stakeholders in the community.

The idea behind this was to identify, understand and put forth solutions to employment challenges in Mississauga, with a special focus on youth and newcomers.

Led by a Steering Committee of prominent figures in Mississauga business, government, not-for-profit, education and labour organizations, the summit took place last week on Tuesday, February 9 and was a follow-up to previous summits held in May 2009 and in 2007.

On his eponymous NewsTalk 1010 radio show, John Tory interviewed the Mississauga Mayor the day of the summit.

“We’re going to come forward with action,” McCallion said. “We have to act on the information we received today.”

Career Edge Organization was thrilled to hear John Tory cite Career Bridge as an example of an effective and thriving solution to employment issues faced by internationally qualified professionals who are newcomers to Canada. Thanks for the shout-out!

Click here to listen to the audio clip.

And the winner is…

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Congratulations to Dan Gignac, CHRP at Aecon who won our prize draw at the HRPA conference and trade show!

Dan’s business card was randomly selected (via the scientific method of reaching my hand into a glass bowl, eyes closed and no peeking!) among dozens of entries from visitors to the Career Edge Organization booth.

The prize includes two HR-related books, “Loyalty, unplugged” by Adwoa K. Buahene and Giselle Kovary, and “Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Culturally Different Employees” by Lionel Laroche, Ph.D and Don Rutherford, as well as some Career Edge Organization collateral (pens, etc.).