TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2011  – Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) today recognizes outstanding volunteer contributions to its award-winning program, The Mentoring Partnership, facilitating the mentorship of over 6,000 skilled immigrants. Volunteers will be highlighted this afternoon at 4PM at The Mentoring Partnership’s Annual Partners Conference and Volunteer Recognition Reception at Manulife Financial. The event is funded by the Governments of Canada and Ontario, and sponsored by Manulife Financial.

“Manulife is proud to be a long-time funder of the program,” says Kathy Lockwood, Senior Vice President Human Resources, Corporate & Investment Divisions, Manulife Financial. “The Mentoring Partnership plays a key role in getting skilled immigrants into good jobs sooner, providing healthier economic and social conditions for us all.”

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.

“Over 6,000 skilled immigrants have been mentored since The Mentoring Partnership program was launched in 2004 and 70 per cent have found employment in their field,” says Elizabeth McIsaac, Executive Director, TRIEC. “This program thrives because individuals volunteer their time as mentors. Today we thank all our mentor volunteers, and celebrate outstanding individuals and leadership in mentoring.”


Leadership in mentor recruitment
This year corporate partner CIBC has reached the milestone of having contributed 100 mentoring matches to the program. “CIBC is proud to play a role in helping newcomers to Canada establish a strong new start through mentoring relationships,” says Sharon Wingfelder, Vice President, Human Resources, Diversity & Resourcing, CIBC. “Mentoring also benefits our employees who gain a better understanding of the newcomer experience while making a real difference in the community.”

CIBC joins the ranks of corporate partners recognized last year for being leaders in mentor recruitment: TD Bank Financial Group, City of Toronto, Deloitte, KPMG and Scotiabank.

The Mentoring Partnership program relies on the commitment of corporate partners to engage employees/members to become mentors, market The Mentoring Partnership internally, and host orientation events for their mentors and mentees. Staff from corporate partners have accounted for 65 per cent of mentoring matches in the program. The other 35 per cent of matches come from individual mentors not employed by corporate partners.

Active corporate partners in 2010-2011

  • Centennial College
  • Certified General Accountants of Ontario  
  • CGI
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
  • Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
  • Mackenzie Investments
  • Manulife Financial
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Ontario Power Generation
  • PepsiCo Cana
  • CIBC
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Vaughan
  • RBC
  • Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Scotiabank
  • St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Stikeman Elliott LLP
  • TD Bank Group
  • Toronto Public Library
  • Tetra Tech

Mentors who have mentored 10 or more skilled immigrants
Mentors say they gain as much as they give by mentoring skilled immigrants. The fact that 30 per cent of mentors return to mentor again proves it.

“Mentoring provides real professional development,” says Joe Ferreyro, Associate Manager, Sun Life Financial. “You learn about other cultures and get to interact with many types of people. I do a lot of mentoring on the job, so I can apply what I learn to my daily activities of coaching new hires. More importantly, I am paying it forward because I remember what it was like when I immigrated.”

Joe is one of 14 mentors who have gone above and beyond to mentor 10 or more skilled immigrants. Over half of the mentors being recognized for reaching this milestone are employees of the City of Toronto.

Mentees who have become mentors
The Mentoring Partnership has noticed a new trend: After establishing their careers in Canada, former mentees are volunteering as mentors – all wanting to repay the advice and encouragement they received.

“Mentoring is meaningful for me because I can share what I have experienced with other skilled immigrants,” says Taofeeq Olatinwo, former mentee and Senior Manager of SAP at Hewlett-Packard. “My mentor explained Canadian culture and the workplace. I believe this insight has been essential in helping me integrate in all the jobs I’ve had since.”

Taofeeq is one of 13 former mentees being recognized for returning to the program to become mentors. The mentors originate from countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.

About The Mentoring Partnership Program:
The Mentoring Partnership is a collaboration of corporate and community partners, and operates as a program of 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 Governments of Canada and Ontario, Manulife Financial and Maytree.

Learn more at


For further information:

Claire DeVeale-Blane, Communications Manager, (416) 944-1946 ext. 271 (office) or 416-464-4042 (cell), or

Natalia Dobrynina, Communications Specialist, (416) 944-1946 ext. 260,