In January 2021, ACCES launched VERA (Virtual Employment and Resource Attendant), an innovative AI solution that is providing much needed employment services online alongside 24/7 job search support for jobseekers in the Greater Toronto Area, across Canada, and to pre-arrival newcomers around the world. VERA is one of the first AI-based chatbot solutions to be fully deployed in the non-profit employment services sector, addressing multiple areas of service delivery including referrals to specific programs at ACCES, event registrations, and intelligent responses to frequently asked questions.

VERA was developed using funds received from a generous Accenture grant. The technology grant and in-kind support from Accenture began in 2016 and helped ACCES to expand upon its approach to digital services. The AI solution (VERA), powered by IBM Watson® Assistant software and IBM Watson Discovery, is an intelligent search and text analytics engine that retrieves unstructured content in response to user queries. To learn more about how this digital tool has enhanced the service delivery at ACCES, read the IBM case study: