Over the next months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.

Jeff

Jeff Lazenby

Executive Director

What makes Career Edge special? In wanting to tell the story of what makes Career Edge special, the only place I could start is with the staff at Career Edge and the work that they do every day. Since I joined Career Edge, the one constant is the dedication of the staff who, day in and day out, all strive to make a difference in someone else’s life. Seeing their efforts every day to help someone overcome a barrier to finding meaningful employment is nothing short of heroic. Every moment of their day is singularly focused on making a difference to someone they barely know.  To have a front row seat to witness it makes it more special.

My work at Career Edge has changed me. Thanks to my wonderful parents and family, I have always been a caring and empathic person, but the efforts by a dedicated few to help many have strengthened those emotions for me.

It is sometimes easy to be cynical and wonder what is really motivating a person with their career choices, but to watch a group of individuals come together as a team, whose sole purpose is to give someone an opportunity to take that first step in their career, is wonderful to see. The team at Career Edge genuinely care about those they are trying to help. I go to work everyday with a desire and passion to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. It drives me to be better and do more.

There are many elements to our work. We meet candidates who have just graduated university or college, who are staring at their entire career ahead of them and dream of what could be. We work to understand the accommodation a person with a disability needs to succeed in a new role. Perhaps it is connecting with a Newcomer to Canada who needs that first chance to prove themselves and overcome a barrier to getting that first job in Canada.

The one thing all our candidates share is their combined desire to prove what they are capable of. Many of the people we have helped come from marginalized communities and have real barriers to launching their careers. They are often overlooked, not seen as being able to do the job, or just not considered at all, leaving them discouraged and oftentimes taking a role that is not aligned with their career goals just to make ends meet. Nothing makes me prouder then when I hear from hiring manager who shares that the Career Edge intern that they hired is now a top performer on their team.

Another element of our work is connecting with our many employer partners. These organizations and partners, many who have been with us since day one, are vital to our success. Without their commitment to our program, we would not be able to serve the diverse candidates we help. Together with their support, Career Edge has helped over 14,000 people launch their careers.

Our employer partners understand that building their workforce and leaders of the future starts with giving talented and diverse candidates an opportunity to launch their career and gain valuable experience. Organizations that hire an intern from Career Edge often end up hiring that same intern into a fulltime position at the end of the internship. They see what the intern is capable of and the value they bring to the organization.

Where I get the most joy in my role at Career Edge is when I met or speak with our alumni. Hearing their stories of how their career was launched because of a Career Edge opportunity offered by one of our employer partners. It moves me every time. They light up. They talk about how they were lost in their job search, but once given a chance to gain valuable experience and prove themselves through a paid internship opportunity, their lives changed.

I have heard stories about someone who started with an entry level internship position to now being a Manager, a Director, a VP or owning their own business. They get very excited when they tell me they are now able to give someone the same opportunity they themselves received. They pay it forward. But what really gets me every time is when they tell me about their spouse and how they just bought their first condo or house. Or when they tell me their kids are now in high school or off to university. It reinforces to me that our work is more than just assisting someone with their career launch – it can be life changing. Our work helps and benefits the overall health of our communities.


My time at Career Edge has changed me. It has made me better. I owe all of that to the team around me, the candidates we help and the organizations who support our important work. Thank you. Having all of you in my life makes me better. That is what makes Career Edge special.

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