February 9, 2021

TD and ACCES Empower Newcomers to Succeed in Technology and Leadership

ACCES Employment is a leader in helping newcomers and refugees to integrate and participate fully in the Canadian economy. ACCES provides critical support with connecting newcomers to employers and helping them make the most of opportunities within the Canadian labour market. Building on a long-standing relationship, ACCES is proud to announce a new contribution from TD Bank Group. Through the TD Ready Commitment, a $900,000 donation over the next three years will benefit three unique ACCES programs: Women in Technology, Empowering Women, and Cybersecurity Connections. Support will also include volunteering, coaching and mentorship from TD employees to newcomers enrolled in ACCES programs, with a focus on newcomer women.

Today’s announcement signals the continuing collaboration between TD and ACCES and a commitment to helping improve the lives of Canadian newcomers and refugees. Over the next three years, ACCES and TD will continue to help newcomers strive to reach their personal and professional goals. These three programs will focus on several areas such as improving income stability through future-skills development, providing STEM training (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for underrepresented groups, reducing and removing the barriers facing women jobseekers, and helping to curb unemployment and underemployment among internationally trained and skilled workers new to Canada.

Together, ACCES and TD aim to create the following outcomes:

  • Across the three programs, 160 newcomer jobseekers will receive multiple mentoring opportunities and targeted coaching each year
  • Among these job seekers, 60 newcomer women will receive employment and job search support to help them find jobs in information technology and cybersecurity
  • As part of these programs, participants will receive customized job search guidance including interview preparation, resume development, industry and informational presentations and will utilize proven job search strategies

Grace Jolaoso, an ACCES Empowering Women graduate recruited by TD in 2019, shares her experience: “The Empowering Women program provided me with the critical building blocks for my career in Canada. When I was a client at ACCES, hearing from mentors and other newcomers who reached their unique career milestones in Canada was reassurance for my own career journey. The program afforded me the platform to build professional networks and enhance my skills for the Canadian workplace. Now working for TD Bank Group, I truly enjoy the opportunities to give my time and share my journey with other newcomers as a proud ACCES alum.”

Allison Pond, President and CEO of ACCES Employment explains that the work that ACCES and TD are doing together is critical: “We continue to work with our employer networks to open employment opportunities for the people who need them the most. With this support from TD, we will be able to provide paths to success for newcomer women both in the short term and well into the future.”

“We are thrilled to continue working with ACCES Employment after 13 years of helping Canadian newcomers and refugees reach their goals,” says Naki Osutei, Associate Vice President, Social Impact (Canada) at TD Bank Group. “Through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s global corporate citizenship platform, we are supporting internationally trained professionals to overcome employment barriers. By investing in programs that help newcomers and refugees build in-demand technical skills, we can help participants open new doors to their careers in Canada.”

In the midst of a global pandemic, this investment comes at a critical juncture and will contribute significantly to the success of newcomers, whose full participation in the local labour market will be vital to Canada’s economic recovery. This work by TD and ACCES will not only continue to remove acknowledged barriers to employment for newcomers and refugees, but will also help this segment of the population take advantage of current and future opportunities.

Barriers to Employment

  • Although gains have been made, in 2020 the unemployment rate for recent newcomers was more than 4% higher (13.5%) than those born in Canada (9.1%). Despite high levels of education and skills, newcomers also face barriers to employment including difficulty obtaining Canadian experience, a lack of professional networks and connections, a lack of information about opportunities and how to uncover those opportunities in the Canadian Labour market.
  • Unemployment for newcomer women, in particular, continues to be a troubling issue. Despite attaining higher levels of education than those born in Canada, newcomer women consistently have higher rates of unemployment.

Economic and Employment Opportunity

  • Employment gains by newcomers in professional scientific and technical services are increasing at a faster pace than total employment in all other areas in Canada
  • There is evidence that with the high rate of education among female newcomers, there is an opportunity for newcomer women to play a key role in STEM innovation in Canada.

About ACCES Employment

ACCES Employment is a leader in connecting jobseekers from diverse backgrounds with employers in roles that reflect their qualifications and experience. Nearly 40,000 job seekers are served annually at 7 locations across the Greater Toronto Area and virtually through our online services. As a not-for-profit organization, ACCES receives funding from all levels of government, corporate sponsors, various supporters and the United Way Greater Toronto. For more information about services and programs at ACCES, please visit


Statistics Canada. 2021. “Labour force characteristics by immigrant status, annual.” Available online at in new tab icon

Statistics Canada. 2017. “Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report.” Available online at in new tab icon

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