Employers Honoured For Hiring Skilled Immigrants

Maxxam Analytics’ co-op program for skilled immigrants garnered the Mississauga-based company an Immigrant Success award, which recognizes leadership and innovation in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants.

By Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star

A skills shortage and a Mississauga employer’s leap of faith have changed the fate of Krishnarl Suntharesan and hundreds of skilled immigrants desperate for elusive Canadian work experience.

Instead of being stuck in her survival job delivering flyers, Suntharesan, a biochemist from Sri Lanka, was enrolled in Maxxam Analytics’ co-op program for skilled immigrants and is now a senior lab analyst at the Mississauga-based company.

Since the program’s launch in 2001, Maxxam, which tests environment products and food and water samples among other services, has brought in more than 400 co-op students like Suntharesan, later hiring half of them, from lab technicians to IT and human resources specialists.

Maxxam will be presented with the Toronto Star Award for Excellence in Workplace Integration at the 6th Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council Immigrant Success Awards Thursday at the Royal Bank Plaza.

“Everyone gains in this program,” said Jon Hantho, CEO of Maxxam, which has almost doubled its workforce to 2,200 employees in six years. “We gain the skills of the well-educated and motivated technical employees, who get to learn a new culture and start a new career in Canada.”

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