Supporting immigrant employment contributes to prosperity in the GTA

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The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is one of the most culturally diverse regions in North America, a significant advantage in today’s global marketplace. GTA employers need to tap into the diverse talent pool here to build the economy and remain competitive on a worldwide scale. Today, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and RBC are recognizing the winners of the 8th Annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards; organizations and individuals who are helping employers do just that to the advantage of employers, immigrants and the region as a whole.

“Historically, immigrants have made significant contributions to Canada’s success. Yet, 10 years ago, a diverse group of the region’s leaders founded TRIEC because the region was not effectively leveraging the immigrant talent it possessed to the detriment of us all,” said Margaret Eaton, Executive Director of TRIEC. “We are so proud of the role TRIEC and its partners have played in helping skilled immigrants succeed during the past decade. The IS Award winners really demonstrate the magic that can occur when immigrants have the opportunity to contribute to their full potential.”

Celebrating its 10th anniversary today as well, TRIEC has long championed innovative solutions to immigrant employment in the GTA, the type of solutions highlighted by this year’s IS Award winners. With different backgrounds and expertise, each of these winners demonstrate the exceptional value of immigrant entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship for the GTA economy.

“Each of the winners has been a catalyst in their own unique way for integrating skilled immigrants into the GTA’s labour market,” said Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC, the sponsor of the IS Awards. “RBC is proud to support the IS Awards, which reflect our belief that a diverse and inclusive workplace plays a key role in driving employee engagement, innovation and a stronger, more competitive, business. We are confident that the winners and nominees will inspire others to better integrate skilled immigrants into workplaces throughout our region.”

Two organizations and one individual will be recognized this evening for their contribution to immigrant employment in the GTA. The winners were selected by a panel of senior human resource professionals, business executives and industry stakeholders.


Entrepreneurship Connections (ACCES Employment and the Business Development Bank of Canada)

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ACCES Employment and BDC partnered together in 2011 to launch Entrepreneur Connections, a program designed for newcomers who plan to launch a business in Canada. The four-week program is a great example of a partnership, between ACCES Employment and the Business Development Bank of Canada, that provides positive, tangible results for both skilled immigrants and employers. Entrepreneur Connections helps immigrants translate their past experience and education into the Canadian market. The program provides individual coaching to start a business, teaches the foundations of a business plan, offers legal consultation for a business launch and pairs the participant with an established mentor.


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emergiTEL was founded by Aneela Zaib, who immigrated to Canada in 1988 and leveraged her international background and expertise in IT and Telecom to launch this national business. Considered one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, emergiTEL is a full solution provider of staffing, outsourcing, consulting and training services for the Telecommunications and IT industries. With first-hand knowledge of the employment challenges faced by skilled immigrants, Zaib has tasked emergiTEL with a commitment to support new Canadian professionals, a significant portion of the company’s roster, by managing their overall career paths and connecting them with employers they would not normally have access to. 

Emiliano Mendez

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Emiliano Mendez, originally from Mexico City, has established a successful career working for several Fortune 500 companies in Canada and is currently employed in the financial sector in Strategy and Transformation Services. With all of this professional success, Mendez has not forgotten the challenges he experienced during the early stages of his career and he has since co-founded the not-for-profit organization, LAMBA (Latin America MBA Alumni Network). LAMBA’s objective is to support professional development and networking for Latin American business professionals in Canada. The organization started as a small group of Latin American MBA graduates from top business schools in Canada and today has over 500 members from the Americas. LAMBA is credited for giving the Latin business community in Toronto wider recognition, positioning its members as valuable talent in the workforce and offering bridge programs that help internationally trained professionals to succeed in their careers. Recently, Emiliano accepted the role of President of LAMBA.

The IS Awards are presented by TRIEC and sponsored by RBC, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the support of media partners Canadian HR Reporter, CBC Toronto and the Toronto Star.