TRIEC recognizes TD for mentoring over 1,000 skilled immigrants

Today, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) is recognizing outstanding corporate leaders and individual volunteers at The Mentoring Partnership annual recognition reception hosted at KPMG. TRIEC is celebrating TD Bank Group, a founding employer partner of The Mentoring Partnership, and its employees for mentoring 1,000 skilled immigrants.

“The Mentoring Partnership has made over 7,000 mentoring matches and has proven to be a successful strategy to help skilled immigrants find meaningful employment,” says Margaret Eaton, Executive Director, TRIEC. “TD is a corporate leader in mentoring skilled immigrants and using that experience to build the cultural competency of its employees and strengthen the inclusiveness of the workplace.”

The Mentoring Partnership brings together recent skilled immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships. Mentors share job search tips, industry insights and professional contacts, helping skilled immigrant mentees establish a professional network in Canada. The program is funded by the Governments of Canada and Ontario, Manulife Financial and ALLIES, a project funded by Maytree and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

TD is the leading contributor of mentors to The Mentoring Partnership and the first employer partner to reach the 1,000 mentoring matches milestone since the program began in 2004.

“At TD, mentoring skilled immigrants is a key part of our developing leaders,” says Manjit Singh, Senior Vice President, Finance, TD Canada Trust and a TRIEC board member. “We are involved with The Mentoring Partnership Program because it delivers the proverbial “win-win-win”. It connects newcomers with productive employment, it develops leaders and it builds understanding.”

Other achievements recognized at The Mentoring Partnership’s 2012 Recognition Reception

Leadership in mentor recruitment

In addition to recognizing TD, TRIEC recognized CGI Group Inc. and Mackenzie Investments for reaching the 100 mentoring matches milestone this year. Both companies have been dedicated employer partners and see significant benefits from their involvement in the program.

“Mackenzie is proud to associate with TRIEC and The Mentoring Partnership,” said David McCullum, Executive Vice President of Client Services Operations at Mackenzie Investments and an active supporter of the mentoring program. “Helping recent immigrants assimilate into the workforce is gratifying for employees who become mentors. They also develop leadership, coaching and communication skills, which further enriches their mentoring experience.”

“There is no downside to being a mentor,” said Michael Grahlman, Director, Business Systems Analysis at CGI and a mentor with the program. “From a business perspective CGI was able to tap into new talent pools and skillsets. And from a personal perspective, it forces you to look at the work environment and the norms, boundaries and expectations in a different way and think about the implications of these in your business.”

CGI and Mackenzie Investments join the ranks of other corporate partners who have passed the 100 matches milestone and are leaders in mentor recruitment: TD, City of Toronto, CIBC, Deloitte, KMPG and Scotiabank. Staff from employer partners account for eighty per cent of mentoring matches in the program. The other twenty per cent of matches come from individual mentors not employed by partners.

Mentors who have mentored ten or more skilled immigrants

Mentors say they gain as much as they give by mentoring skilled immigrants. This year, The Mentoring Partnership recognized seven mentors who see so much value in the program that they have mentored more than ten times.

“I enjoy mentoring. It not only helps me to be a better listener, but also to be a better person and to appreciate the challenges a newcomer, which I was once, has to go through,” says Sam Samanta, Senior Financial Analyst at the City of Toronto and a ten-time mentor. “I learn a lot. I learn about other countries, culture and education systems. And it’s an eye-opener.”

Sam is one of seven mentors who have gone above and beyond to mentor ten or more skilled immigrants.

Mentees who have become mentors

A strong testament to the success of The Mentoring Partnership are the former mentees who go on to find professional success and become mentors for a new immigrant themselves. This year, The Mentoring Partnership recognized thirteen former mentees who are now mentors.

“My mentor was able to help me build my network in the industry here in Canada,” says Tim Tabassum Iqbal, Executive Director of Blue Green Systems and a former mentee. Now a mentor, Tim is helping other new immigrants like himself. “Newcomers come with such passion for their new country and for finding success. All they need is some help channelling that passion and I knew that I could help with that.”

Tim is one of thirteen former mentees being recognized for returning to the program to become mentors. The mentors originate from countries including Pakistan, Iran, Nepal and China.