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June 15, 2004
City recognizes successful first phase of immigrant mentoring project
  
Participants in the Toronto Public Service's pilot project - Profession to
Profession - Mentoring Immigrants Pilot Project - were recognized at a
reception this afternoon at City Hall. City staff acted as mentors, advising
immigrants who are seeking employment in the same field. The project matched 29
members of the Toronto Public Service who are engineers, accountants or
information technology specialists with immigrants who have similar
international training.

"Toronto's immigrant population is well educated, skilled and has a wealth of
international experience," said Mayor David Miller. "Our economy needs those
skills in order for it to succeed for all of us. This project helps them
identify and overcome some of barriers they face in finding employment in their
areas of expertise."

Profession to Profession is a joint initiative of the City's Employment Equity
Unit and the Diversity Management and Community Engagement Unit in partnership
with the Consortium of Agencies Serving International Persons (CASIP). CASIP
and City staff will be conducting an evaluation of the project in July and
August to make recommendations for future implementation of the program in the
fall. The next phase of the program will include a larger number of mentoring
relationships and a wider range of occupational groups to cover other large
professional groups in the City such as planners, policy specialists, social
workers and human resources professionals.

Shirley Hoy, Chief Administrative Officer, said, "The pilot project provided
the Toronto Public Service staff who volunteered as mentors with an exciting
opportunity to further develop their coaching, leadership and cross-cultural
communication skills and to learn more about immigrant settlement issues. We
are hoping that the City's mentoring program will serve as an example to other
employers in Toronto and encourage them to set up similar programs."

Ed Kothiringer, a member of a consortium of seven newcomer employment services
of CASIP, praised the Profession to Profession mentoring partnership project
with the City of Toronto for its early successes. "Newcomers greatly benefit
from advice and coaching by established professionals. Our goal is to help them
obtain positions that match their extensive education and experience. With many
of the four-month matches ending, 11 of the 29 protégés have already secured
jobs. If more newcomers get positions that fully use their skills, the Toronto
economy could gain hundreds of millions of dollars."

Media contacts:
Jo-Anne Barnard, Senior HR Consultant, Employment Equity Unit, Human Resources
416-392-9597; e-mail: jbarnar@toronto.ca
Rose Lee, Co-ordinator, Diversity Management, Chief Administrator's Office
416-392-4991; e-mail: rlee@toronto.ca



 

 

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