Edward Keenan

Michael MacKenzie, the COO of Transportation for Toronto Transportation unit says that Toronto’s diversity has been a strength for his company. “Having employees of international origin who can speak the language and understand the culture of our customers in regions such as China, Korea or Turkey, for instance, has greatly aided our ability to meet our project obligations, which leads to continued growth.”

For exactly that type of business acumen, MacKenzie’s Thales Canada Transportation was awarded the RBC Immigrant Advantage Award at the recent Immigrant Success Awards presented by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council. In the award’s citation, TRIEC says that Thales “systematically targets and cultivates internationally-trained professionals to ensure its position as a leader in transportation systems worldwide,” and notes the company’s 95 per cent retention rate of skilled immigrant employees.

Other Immigrant Success award winners announced last week were the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, Deloitte and Nancy Steele of American Express Technologies.

The awards recognize companies, non-profits and individuals who demonstrate exemplary practices at integrating skilled immigrants into the Toronto region. “Over five years we’ve seen a notable uptake and sophistication of recruitment and retention strategies. Employers are now realizing the benefits of a more diverse, globally aware and connected workforce,” TRIEC executive director Elizabeth McIssac said in announcing this year’s fifth annual awards. “IS Award winners are real examples of the benefits that can come from mobilizing the best and brightest in our city.”

Reference: Yonge Street