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TD and ACCES Collaborate to Create Success

Innovative and committed partners help ACCES create momentum and success in the lives of newcomers. Through generous support, contributions to programs and services, volunteering and mentoring, and the recruitment of newcomer talent, ACCES and TD have contributed to the success of thousands of newcomers as they start their lives in Canada.

By working together, ACCES and TD are making a difference in the lives of newcomer jobseekers in a variety of innovative and targeted ways. With TD’s support, ACCES has been able to address greater income stability for newcomers through future-skills development, much-needed STEM training for underrepresented groups, reducing and removing the barriers facing women jobseekers and helping to curb unemployment and underemployment among internationally trained professionals new to Canada. Specifically, TD’s recent support and sponsorship has enhanced ACCES’s Women in Technology, Empowering Women, Cybersecurity Connections and Talk English Café programming. The collaboration also created an innovative workshop series introducing refugees to TD’s own control functions and compliancy training.

Women in Technology Program

The TD Ready Challenge, created and funded by TD, is a key component of the Bank's overall corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment. The annual North American initiative provides financial support to organizations tackling community issues. ACCES's Women in Technology (WiT) initiative was a recipient of a $1 million CDN TD Ready Challenge grant in 2018. The initiative provides women with training and employer connections to secure and retain competitive employment in the IT field with a focus on emerging high growth areas in STEM. Participants have direct contact with hiring employers through a range of mentoring initiatives and guest-speaker events.

Empowering Women

ACCES’s Empowering Women Program, sponsored by TD, is a one-week intensive program focused on helping newcomer women realize their leadership potential through customized workshops, coaching, and business communication training. Each cohort includes a volunteer commitment from TD executives and leaders to individually mentor participants, providing participants with the opportunity to meet with women already in leadership roles. The program is highly successful with an 84% employment rate among graduates, with 36% of the graduates being hired directly by TD. Over 250 women have benefitted from the program to date, with 15 different cohorts.

Cybersecurity Connections

TD generously supported the delivery of the Cybersecurity Connections cohort offered last month. The program connects internationally trained IT professionals to the increasingly high-demand Canadian job market in Cybersecurity. In partnership with IBM, the last cohort received unique mentoring support from TD executives and customized cybersecurity training from IBM’s SkillsBuild platform. TD has also hired past graduates from the program in roles such as Senior Security Analyst, Business Technology Risk Management and Information Security Analysts.

TD Control Function Workshop Series for Refugees

TD and ACCES recently collaborated on a Control Functions Workshop series for refugees. Many of the refugee participants had previously worked in control functions in their countries of origin, including Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, St. Lucia and Zimbabwe. TD leaders taught refugees about specific control functions at TD, how to understand and manage risk and how to accomplish this within the TD framework. Participants also learned about TD’s hiring practices and how to engage with professionals in the TD network. As one refugee reflected, “The collaboration between ACCES and TD Bank Group is such an amazing one. Every individual who represented both organizations exhibited a high level of expertise and professionalism.” Jan Grofe, Senior Manager with the TD Compliance Academy, explained that the ACCES-TD collaboration on this Compliance Series has helped to “further the impact of the TD Ready Commitment by giving back to a vulnerable population in our community: refugees searching for employment during COVID.”

Personal Success Story: ACCES and TD's Growing Impact on Diversity and Inclusion

Sisan Adidi migrated to Canada from Nigeria in April 2019. It was a difficult decision to make, leaving behind a successful 12-year career in a leading financial services franchise in Africa.

In his words, “the Financial Services Connections Program at ACCES was a good place to learn about the Canadian financial landscape and how best to leverage my skills. The program gave me an opportunity to attend speed mentoring and career sessions with various financial institutions. Through one of these sessions, I was able to interview for my current position as Manager, Customer Experience at TD Bank.” Joining TD in Etobicoke enabled Sisan to leverage his experiences coupled with structured and deliberate rotations within the district to learn and apply his skills in a meaningful and purposeful way.

“TD Bank was a perfect fit for me as a newcomer; the diverse, customer-centric and people-oriented work environment helped me settle in quickly and thrive. Most importantly, I was able to bring my whole self to work and to just be me.”

IBM launches free, open digital learning platform ‘SkillsBuild Reignite’ to help Canadian job seekers and business owners get back to work

IBM and TD Bank Group also support non-profit ACCES Employment on SkillsBuild to deliver custom courses, projects, and personalized coaching to over 35,000 Canadians looking to re-skill

Toronto, CANADA – Today, IBM, (NYSE: IBM) and non-profit organization ACCES Employment launch a collaboration using the SkillsBuild platform, making custom courses, projects, and personalized coaching available to over 35,000 Canadians looking to re-skill and get new jobs. TD Bank Group, via its global corporate citizenship, the TD Ready Commitment, is lending additional support to this collaboration to fund programs that help women and newcomer IT professionals find career success in Canada.

The IBM SkillsBuild platform will also be used by Youth Employment Services (YES) a Canadian youth employment leader that serves and empowers thousands of disadvantaged and vulnerable youth to develop skills in digital literacy and cloud computing.

IBM is also extending the SkillsBuild platform—named SkillsBuild Reignite--for job seekers looking to take courses for free online and without first establishing a relationship with a not-for-profit organization, helping to find new jobs in high growth sectors like web development, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.

According to a Statistics Canada report earlier this month, Canada added nearly one million jobs in June, but there are still close to two million fewer jobs today than there were pre-COVID. The platform, available in English and French, will provide over 7,000 courses designed to help Canadians develop vital professional skills, gain practical real-life experience and build their career.

About SkillsBuild

  • IBM is partnering with ACCES Employment, a leading employment services organization in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that assists job seekers from diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers to employment to integrate into the Canadian job market.
  • Supported by IBM and TD Bank Group, ACCES Employment will use the SkillsBuild platform to deliver an integrated set of courses, projects and personalized coaching to Canadians looking for work.
  • IBM is also partnering with YES, the Canadian youth employment leader who offers innovative programs to empower disadvantaged and vulnerable youth.
  • SkillsBuild is traditionally offered in cooperation with local non-profit organizations in over 15 countries with 30,000 users.
  • More information found here.

About SkillsBuild Reignite

  • SkillsBuild Reignite is an open and accessible version of SkillsBuild that is designed for all individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs who are not affiliated with a non-profit organization as they focus on economic recovery.
  • This platform gives users an opportunity to take online courses to gain digital and professional skills, learn more about business and digital strategy, and hear from experts on how to succeed in a digital job interview.
  • Entrepreneurs can seek advice that will help establish or restart their small business, learn about tapping into economic development assistance, or improve their digital marketing skills.
  • More information found here.

“Some of the greatest challenges facing businesses today need skills that don’t require a traditional degree. There is a critical need to make sure Canadians are gaining these meaningful skills that align to industry needs,” said Claude Guay, IBM Canada President and General Manager. “That’s why, regardless of background, education or life experience, SkillsBuild will equip learners with the professional skills and mentorship they need to navigate the new digital economy.”

“In the current COVID-19 pandemic, quality training and learning options that are immediately available will greatly contribute to the success of jobseekers and Canadians looking for work in different industries,” shares Allison Pond, President/CEO, ACCES Employment. “We are excited to partner with IBM and TD Bank Group on this initiative. Together, we will be able to provide a range of learning opportunities to enhance the skills and employability of ACCES jobseekers.”

“It’s critical training programs adapt to the ‘future of work’ to ensure long term employment and prosperity for youth, especially our most vulnerable,” says Timothy Lang, President & CEO at YES- Youth Employment Services. “The YES-IBM partnership will have an immediate impact and prepare tens of thousands of youth YES serves annually for long lasting careers and help change lives…forever.”

In addition to the partnership with ACCES Employment and YES – Youth Employment Services, IBM is working with organizations across Canada to reignite the economy, including through the newly redesigned IBM Service Corps program which provides teams of 12-15 IBM employees with a leave of absence to help non-profits and civic leaders address complex and high priority issues in education and economic development. Since 2008, the IBM Service Corps program has sent more than 4,000 employees to support more than 1,400 projects in over 40 countries.

For more information about SkillsBuild for non-profits: http://skillsbuild.org

For more information about SkillsBuild ReIgnite: https://www.skillsbuild.org/reignite

For more information about IBM Service Corps: https://www.ibm.org/initiatives/ibm-service-corps

Media Contact:

Alicia Ali
IBM Canada, External Communications
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IKEA Canada and ACCES Employment Rally to Help Refugees During COVID Crisis

During the COVID-19 crisis in Canada, we have heard many stories of Canadians rallying to help the most vulnerable in our society get through these difficult times. Canada’s refugee population is facing particular challenges during this pandemic. Refugees are fleeing their home countries because of war, trauma, political instability, and any number of difficult circumstances and looking for a better life in Canada. Many of them are dealing with housing, food, and financial crises and finding employment can be difficult, especially now.

IKEA Canada and ACCES Employment have teamed up to bring joy into the lives of Canada’s refugee families. As the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic grew, IKEA Canada committed over $2M to support local vulnerable communities including the homeless, newcomers, children, and refugees. Along with this generous commitment, IKEA reached out to ACCES Employment for ideas to further support our refugee jobseekers. In the end, IKEA provided ACCES with 50 relief and care packages to deliver to these families.

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ACCES Employment Response to Covid-19

Updated April 2, 2020

Dear ACCES Community and Partners,

During these uncertain times, there is a particular strength in unity. Each day there are new developments in the global pandemic of COVID-19 and there are new responsibilities for all Canadians. We need to do whatever we can to collectively safeguard the wellbeing of our families, our communities and our most vulnerable. This will only work if we all do our part.

For almost 35 years, our mission at ACCES has been clear. We assist people from diverse backgrounds, people who face barriers to employment, and we help them integrate into the Canadian job market and into Canadian society. We are also here for our employers, connecting them to the talent that they need to run their businesses.  We help businesses hire the staff that allow them to step up and contribute, the way many are doing now, during critical times like these.

Right now, ACCES will continue to provide our community with much needed employment services, while at the same time protecting the health of our clients, our front-line employees, and our staff.

Last Friday, ACCES made the difficult decision to close our physical locations until May 4, 2020.  However, we have moved to a remote and online service delivery model so that we can continue to provide critical services to our jobseekers and employers. We are using our digital innovation and virtual technology to offer the following to all of you:

  • All of our phone lines are open:  service, information and connections to counselling services will be communicated through our Virtual Call Centre
  • We will be delivering one-to-one employment counselling sessions online via phone and Zoom meetings
  • We are offering all of our in-person workshops, employer guest speaking sessions and our “Talk English Café” sessions online with facilitators and presenters, our calendar of events is open for registration:  http://accesemployment.ca/online-event-series
  • Jobseekers can access a library of job search resources and videos through our e-ACCES content hub:  http://e-acces.accesemployment.org/
  • We are working with employers to meet their immediate hiring needs and will be announcing online job fairs and hiring events over the next few weeks

We have communicated with our jobseekers, employer partners, corporate donors and sponsors, and our government funders to share these tailored service options during these times.

ACCES is aligned with all Canadians in the struggle to stem the spread of COVID-19 and we are doing our part to care for the health and safety of our clients, our staff and our community while maintaining our commitment to provide quality employment services.

Take good care,

Allison Pond
President & CEO, ACCES Employment

ACCES Brings Specialized Employment Services to Newmarket, Ontario

ACCES has been connecting employers to qualified candidates for over 30 years and we are excited to bring our expertise to the town of Newmarket! As the new Employment Services provider for Newmarket, we not only help jobseekers integrate into the workplace quickly and successfully, we also work directly with employers to facilitate the hiring of top talent and to support retention.

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Recent Media Coverage:

(February 3, 2020) Bridging the Talent Gap, tapping into a North Carolina experiment

(February 1, 2020) Healthcare Connections program alumni Hardik Patel achieves success

(January 20, 2020) TD recognized as one of Canada's best diversity employer, ACCES mentioned under TDs recruitment initiative

(January 16, 2020) Accenture gives $1.1 Million grant to ACCES employment to help newcomers

(December 12, 2019)) There Was a Women in Technology Event Last Month

(December 10, 2019) Hoy se realizará gran feria de empleo para refugiados en Toronto

(December 9, 2019) There's a refugee hiring event happening outside of Toronto this week

(December 6, 2019) Media Inquiry Scarborough Location regarding Unemployment Rate

(November 16, 2019) Newcomers receive relief in their struggle to find work

(November 13, 2019) Refugees Coming To Canada Want To Contribute, Toronto Job Fair Shows

(November 5, 2019) BMO, United Way and City of Toronto Announce Greater Golden Mile Neighbourhoods are First for Economic Opportunity Program

(October 31, 2019) Starbucks Canada Leads Top Canadian Companies in First-of-its-Kind Refugee Hiring Event with Tent Partnership for Refugees

(October 31, 2019) Toronto Refugee Hiring Event

(October 31, 2019) Toronto Refugee Hiring Event

(October 31, 2019) Job fair specifically for refugees gives hope to those having trouble finding work

(June 7, 2019) WES Pilot Program for Refugees. ACCES referred clients to pilot program.

(April 11, 2019) Speed Mentoring program partnership with GTAA and ACCES Employment in Brampton

(March 7, 2019) Rede de agências ajuda a achar trabalho antes da chegada ao Canadá

(April 10, 2019) Toronto Pearson and ACCES Employment Announce $100,000 Partnership to Connect Hundreds of Skilled Newcomers to Local Employers

(March 6, 2019) Accenture Appoints Piyush Bhatnagar Office Managing Director for Toronto

(February 25, 2019) Markham ACCES Employment Centre bolsters newcomers, immigrants seeking work

(February 22, 2019) ACCES Markham Location Supports Newcomers

(February 7, 2019) IKEA Canada Launches Refugee Employment Program Coast-to-Coast

(January 2, 2019) Clothing store Dress for Success helps women going back to work gain confidence

(December 30, 2018) Revue de l’année 2018 pour la francophonie torontoise

(October 24, 2018) TD propels 10 innovative solutions designed to prepare workers for an inclusive future

(September 10, 2018) ACCES Employment bridging programs see internationally trained professionals solve real-world problems for employers

(August 18, 2018) Des francophones valorisés au Marathon Speed Mentoring d’Acces Employment

(August 16, 2018) RBC and ACCES Prepare Immigrants for Employment and Financial Success in Canada

(June 10, 2018) Get dressed for the best – you!

(June 8, 2018) Des francophones valorisés au Marathon Speed Mentoring d'Acces Employment

(June 7, 2018) What happens at a Speed Mentoring event for new Canadians?

(February 21, 2018) Kingston Job Centre Hosts Speed Mentoring en Français

(February 9, 2018) Le Speed Mentoring en français: un bon moyen de trouver um emploi

(January 28, 2018) Underemployed immigrants a waste of potential

(December 5, 2017) Speed Mentoring Marathon – the fast track to mentorship

(November 10, 2017) Des francophones de Hamilton font l’expérience du Speed Mentoring

(November 3, 2017) Apprivoiser le marché du travail canadien une rencontre à la fois

(October 23, 2017) Supporting skilled newcomers’ transition into Canada’s workforce

(October 23, 2017) Government of Canada to announce employment support for newcomers

(October 22, 2017) Canadian Immigrant - On the job hunt: land your first job in Canada with these five tips

(June 20, 2017) BDC Internships: Breaking Down the Barriers to Refugee Employment

(June 20, 2017) [Interview] Construction Trades Program: Innovative Partnership for Refugee Employment

(June 7, 2017) Newcomer Job Fair hosted by ACCES Employment with TRIEC

(May 30, 2017) Toronto Career, Education and Settlement Immigrant Fair

(May 23, 2017) ACCES Employment Deploys Vlocity to Digitize and Accelerate Immigrant Hiring

(May 9, 2017) Speed mentoring marathon in Toronto by ACCES Employment

(April 25, 2017) ACCES Employment’s World of Difference campaign raising money for newcomer youth

(February 24, 2017) Spotlight on Success: Nathalie Zapata

(January 26, 2017) Spotlight on Success: Imane Sahir—Career Opportunities for a French-Speaking Newcomer in Canada

(January 4, 2017) How to Share Your Ideas in the Workplace

(October 6, 2016) Spotlight on Success: Hung Le—Showcasing Transferable Skills for Canadian Employment

(September 22, 2016) (French) Employment Opportunities for Francophone Job Seekers

(August 18, 2016) (Cantonese) ACCES Employment Services & Programs, OMNI TV

(August 7, 2016) Online Job Search Centre, Inside Toronto

(June 23, 2016) Premiers Highly Skilled Workforce – Final Report (Gov. of Ontario)

(May 18th, 2016) (Cantonese) 2016 Speed Mentoring Marathon – Virtual Mentoring

(May 18th, 2016) (Mandarin) 2016 Speed Mentoring Marathon – Virtual Mentoring

(May 17, 2016) Du Speed Mentoring® en français pour les nouveaux arrivants, L’Express

(May 16th, 2016) Speed Mentoring is Back, With New Virtual Speed Mentoring

(May 2, 2016) Business owners turn to Syrian refugees to fill job vacancies, Jason Tchir, The Globe and Mail

(March 21, 2016) Employment Summit aims to connect Syrian refugees to jobs, Dave Bennett, Newswire.ca

(March 11, 2016) February unemployment rate hit the highest in three years, OMNI Mandarin (ON)

(March 4, 2016) Canada’s best companies find strength in diversity Diane Jermyn, The Globe and Mail

(January 28, 2016) Accenture gives $1.4M grant to support ACCES Employment and help new Canadians secure jobs, Johnny Zhang, Canadian Immigrant

(June 2015) Newcomers have Places to Go for Support, Fannie Sunshine, Inside Toronto

(May 2015) ACCES' Speed Mentoring Marathon gives Newcomers Connections, Ali Amad, Canadian Immigrant Magazine

(January 2015) Give Smart: ACCES Employment, Katelyn Verstraten, Toronto Star

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