Jumping the Diversity Hurdles

The TRIEC Campus contains training videos, discussion guides and learning modules aimed at helping corporate executives learn how to search for, attract and retain skilled immigrants. The site also functions as a destination for immigrants trying to tap into professional and cultural communities in search of a job.

By Krishna Rau, Yonge Street

There’s so much learning out there sitting on a shelf, that can make the lives of employers and potential employees much easier.

For businesses and charities located in the Greater Toronto Area—perhaps the most culturally varied region in Canada—expanding the diversity of their staff and learning to deal with the sensitivities of different communities is essential to success. And for new immigrants searching for work, finding employment can be a matter of survival. A new program from the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) aims to make a painful, time-consuming and expensive process much smoother. Its new online “campus” to help companies and skilled immigrants integrate, gathers collective wisdom and insight and provides it for free.

The site, launched this fall with funding from the Ontario ministry of citizenship and immigration, contains training videos, discussion guides and learning modules aimed at helping corporate executives learn how to search for, attract and retain skilled immigrants. The site also functions as a destination for immigrants trying to tap into professional and cultural communities in search of a job.

Those lessons can be important for nonprofits as well as corporations. Shirley Marie Garcia, the senior manager of human resources at the March of Dimes, says the website will not only help her to hire employees from various backgrounds, but will be a valuable tool in helping all employees learn about their clients, who are people with disabilities.

“We want to make sure our employees are reflective of our clients’ diversity,” says Garcia. “It’s not even an option. Any organization can’t afford to disregard the reality that Canada is becoming a diverse country.”

Read more here