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City of Toronto recognized for “Immigrant Success”

By May 13, 2011August 6th, 2019Uncategorized

When the opportunity came to us to nominate an employer for TRIEC’s annual Immigrant Success Awards, we had a difficult decision to make. Career Edge Organization works with so many incredible organizations (both big and small, private and public and not-for-profit too) in Ontario who use the Career Bridge paid internship program for hiring internationally qualified professionals.

In 2009, we nominated St. Michael’s Hospital for the Toronto Star Award for Excellence in Workplace Integration, and they won!

In 2009, Career Edge Organization nominated St. Michael's hospital - and they won!

John King, Senior VP & CAO, St. Michael’s (top right) – Photo credit: MANSA Photography

After some deliberation, this year we decided to nominate the City of Toronto. It was definitely the right choice. 2010 was a fantastic year for the city in terms of creating meaningful paid internship opportunities for immigrants. As one of the most diverse cities in North America, the City of Toronto is expected to lead by example, and they truly have embraced this challenge.

Although the City of Toronto was not selected by TRIEC as one of this year’s winners, they were shortlisted as a finalist and received recognition on their website and at their event.

Here is what TRIEC had to say about the City of Toronto:

When half of the population are immigrants, it is critical that city government reflects its community. The City of Toronto has been involved in many programs that give opportunities to skilled immigrants, but it is only recently that it has began to link initiatives together, developing action plans and embedding strategies – to ensure that best practices are organization-wide.

The City of Toronto has developed and publicized a long-term human resource strategy — the Public Service People Plan. Says the City’s Barbara Shulman, Director, Strategic Recruitment, Compensation & Employment Services: “The City is a leader in service delivery because of its positive and productive work environment that is inclusive and reflective of the diverse community it serves.”

Programs that fall under the strategy include working with a specialized engineering co-op program through the Toronto District School Board; making HR more accessible with a walk-in employment office at Metro Hall; improved onboarding systems; and long-time partnership involvement in mentoring and internship for skilled immigrants.

Since 2003, the City has provided more than 75 paid internships through Career Bridge, with more than one third of participants hired full-time. Originally in just two divisions, Career Bridge is now active in 14 divisions.

The City is also one of the original corporate partners of TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership, with 238 City employees mentoring 554 skilled immigrants to date. Initially the program began with 29 mentors representing accounting, engineering and IT. Today the program has spread to include 16 professions across the organization.

Career Edge Organization worked with some of our key contacts at the City of Toronto to put together this award submission. When the time came around for our own Achievement Awards, we were happy to present them with one of our coveted “Career Bridge Program Awards.” Congratulations to everyone at the City of Toronto!