TORONTO, December 2nd – Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) today announces Scotiabank’s corporate sponsorship that will support thousands of skilled immigrants to establish and strengthen professional networks across the GTA. Scotiabank’s sponsorship will include an online platform to connect and support members of professional immigrant networks. Details of TRIEC’s planned work with the networks are attached in the backgrounder and will be highlighted this afternoon at 4PM at TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership Recognition Reception at the Toronto Board of Trade.

TRIEC wants to help professional immigrant network leaders connect their skilled immigrant members to meaningful employment. To help networks reach that goal, TRIEC will host learning exchanges; develop an online learning platform; and connect network members to employers, community partners and other relevant stakeholders.

“Helping newcomers to Canada is a priority for Scotiabank,” says Ahmad Dajani, Vice President, Multicultural Banking, Scotiabank. “Our sponsorship of TRIEC’s Professional Immigrant Networks initiative is a natural extension of our focus on providing value added programs and services that will help newcomers get a head start. From our StartRight Program offerings to pre-employment training and mentoring programs, Scotiabank is committed to giving new Canadians the tools they need to build their lives in Canada.”

Scotiabank is also one of five employers being specially recognized by The Mentoring Partnership, a program of TRIEC, for being leaders in mentor recruitment. The Mentoring Partnership brings together recent skilled immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships. Employees from TD Bank Financial Group, City of Toronto, Deloitte, KPMG and Scotiabank have collectively mentored over 1,500 newcomers, and will be honoured at TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership Recognition Reception. There are 27 active corporate partners in the program, all being recognized at this event, each working to open doors and create an even playing field for skilled immigrants – acknowledging the truth in the old adage: it’s not what you know, but who you know.

“Today, the Ontario government recognizes the importance of The Mentoring Partnership – a program that we proudly support as part of our Open Ontario plan to support newcomers and create jobs,” says Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Dr. Eric Hoskins. “We also welcome the leadership role Scotiabank is taking with building professional immigrant networks supporting newcomers’ success in joining the workforce while making Ontario their home.”

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping immigrants succeed,” said Bob Dechert, MP for Mississauga-Erindale on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “The programs provided by TRIEC are instrumental in helping immigrants succeed in the Canadian economy and to integrate into their communities.”

Since 2004, over 5,300 skilled immigrants have been mentored through The Mentoring Partnership program, giving them industry insights, introducing them to professional contacts, and ultimately bringing them closer to meaningful employment. “We are delighted to shine the light on these employers and their leadership which has produced such great results and impact,” says Elizabeth McIsaac, TRIEC Executive Director, “And with a new focus on professional immigrant networks, we are looking forward to new strategies and opportunities to connect more skilled immigrants to the right jobs, to create new linkages among networks, and to contribute to a more vibrant and prosperous city region.”

About TRIEC’s work with professional immigrant networks:

Launched in 2009, the aim of the Professional Immigrant Networks initiative is to work collaboratively with immigrant networks to increase their capacity to more successfully connect their members to meaningful employment. In addition to sponsorship from Scotiabank, the project is also being funded by the Government of Canada and The Maytree Foundation, through the ALLIES project. Learn more about the initiative:

About The Mentoring Partnership Program:
The Mentoring Partnership is offered in the City of Toronto and the regions of Halton, Peel and York and is a program of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). TRIEC creates and champions solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the Greater Toronto Region labour market. Funding for The Mentoring Partnership is provided by the Government of Ontario, The Maytree Foundation and Manulife.

2009-2010 Active Corporate Partners in The Mentoring Partnership:
• American Express
• Aon Hewitt
• BMO Financial Group
• City of Toronto
• City of Vaughan
• Deloitte
• Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
• Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
• IBM Canada Ltd.
• Mackenzie Financial Corporation
• Miller Thomson LLP
• Mount Sinai Hospital
• Ontario Power Generation
• Ontario Public Service
• Pitney Bowes Canada
• St. Michael’s Hospital
• Stikeman Elliott LLP
• Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
• Scotiabank
• State Farm
• TD Bank Financial Group
• Toronto Public Library
• Toronto Transit Commission
• Xerox Canada

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For more information please contact:

Munira Ravji, TRIEC communications and media relations specialist | 416-944-1946 x 282 (o) or BB 416-464-2243 (c)

Claire DeVeale-Blane, TRIEC communications manager | 416-944-1946 x 271 (o) or BB 416-464-4042 (c)

Reference: TRIEC