5 – Local York Region business and community leaders joined the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) today to launch BUILD York – Business Utilizing Immigrant Skills and Leveraging Diversity. The campaign will connect local businesses to successful strategies for accessing the skills, knowledge and experience of skilled immigrants.

This one year campaign of “business talking to business” will build awareness among York Region employers about the strategie

s available to them, engage them in solutions, and galvanize them into action.

“For businesses to stay strong and at the leading edge, it’s important to have the best talent possible,” said Denise Pickett, President and CEO of American Express Canada, host of today’s event. “York Region is fortunate to have a large immigrant talent pool with extensive knowledge of international markets, high education levels and years of experience. If we want to continue to BUILD York, the business community needs to leverage this experience. We
must understand that an investment in the immigrant talent pool is an investment in ourselves.”

The four programs the campaign is focusing on include:

1. The Mentoring Partnership – exposing employees to cross-cultural and leadership opportunities, and exposing business to immigrant talent

GOAL – Recruit 10 new corporate partners from York Region

2. Career Bridge – linking employers to immigrant professionals through paid internships

GOAL – Engage 10 York Region employers on the benefits of internships

3. How-to HR Workshops – practical approaches to optimize the recruitment, hiring and integration of skilled immigrants

GOAL – Engage 10 employers for the February 25th workshop in Richmond Hill

4. BUILD York – IT Working Group – a group of York Region employers, including CGI and IBM, will provide input on recruitment, on-boarding and retention supports for employers that can help them access and integrate skilled immigrant talent

GOAL – Recruit five York Region employers to participate on the working group

“TRIEC is excited to be working with such prominent York Region business and community leaders on this campaign,” said Elizabeth McIsaac, Executive Director of TRIEC. “We see the value of business leadership sharing solutions as being an important step toward building a common vision for prosperity in York Region.”

A number of local leaders spoke at the event, including:

  • Hon. Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Citizenship & Immigration
  • Michael Hortie, President, Motorola Canada
  • Reza Moridi, MPP, Richmond Hill and Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Young Park, Sector VP, Consulting Services, CGI
  • Denise Pickett, President and CEO, American Express Canada
  • Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Town of Markham


Other leaders present to support the campaign included:

  • Mario Calla, Executive Director, COSTI Immigrant Services
  • Richard Cunningham, President, Markham Board of Trade
  • Patrick Draper, Director, Economic Development, York Region
  • Dave Gordon, Manager HR, State Farm Insurance
  • Diane Horton, Partner, HCM Service Leader, IBM Canada
  • Anne Lamont, President, Career Edge Organization (Career Bridge)
  • Rick Miner, President, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree
  • Karen Rubin, Vice-president & Senior Counsel, American Express Canada
  • Daniele Zanotti, CEO, United Way of York Region

About TRIEC:

TRIEC is working to find solutions to better include skilled immigrants in the labour market, while at the same time helping organizations benefit from the skills and talents immigrants bring with them to Canada. Since 2003, TRIEC has facilitated collaboration among a diverse group of stakeholders including employers, post-secondary institutions, employment service providers, community organizations, regulatory bodies and all three levels of government.

Reference: TRIEC