Top performers recognized for leveraging skilled immigrant talent

TRIEC announces winners of fifth Annual Immigrant Success Awards
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/09/2011

Nancy Steele knows the value a diverse employee population can bring to an organization.

As a director within the American Express Technologies (AET) department at American Express Canada, HR didn’t fall within her mandate. But she knew her success was directly linked to her ability to draw the right talent to her department.

Her efforts led to the hiring of 11 skilled immigrants — representing about 10 per cent of hires in the AET division — and landed her the Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award at the fifth Annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards. The awards, which will be handed out at a special ceremony in Toronto on March 9, recognize exemplary practice in integrating skilled immigrants in the Toronto area.

“Employers are now realizing the benefits of a more diverse, globally-aware and connected workforce,” said Elizabeth McIsaac, executive director of TRIEC. “IS Award winners are real examples of the benefits that can come from mobilizing the best and brightest in our city.”

Three organizations and one individual have been recognized for their leadership and innovation in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants.

“The more employers tap the full range of capabilities of our workforce — to innovate and adapt, develop new markets and foster new relationships — the more competitive Canada will be in the global economy and the more prosperous we will be at home,” said Zabeen Hirji, chief human resources officer at RBC. 

The IS Awards are presented by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and sponsored by RBC, in partnership with Canadian HR Reporter, CBC Toronto and the Toronto Star.

For more information on the awards and the winners, look for the March 28 issue of Canadian HR Reporter.

Videos and other IS Award winners

Nancy Steele, American Express Canada: Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award

•Toronto Foundation for Student Success, CBC Toronto Vision Award for Immigrant Inclusion

The Toronto Foundation for Student Success has won the CBC Toronto Vision Award for Immigrant Inclusion. Internationally trained doctors — not yet practising medicine in Canada — are employed to provide vision and hearing screening in priority neighbourhoods. Immigrant doctors gain Canadian experience while supporting largely newcomer populations with essential and culturally-sensitive health care service in their native languages. The program is built on a network of partnerships with the Toronto District School Board, Skills for Change, Sprott Asset Management, Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto departments of social pediatrics and nursing, Toronto Public Health, and receives more than $500,000 in donations from Walmart Vision Centres annually.

•Thales Canada, Transportation: RBC Immigrant Advantage Award

Thales Canada has won the RBC Immigrant Advantage Award. With 90 per cent of its business in the global marketplace, Thales systematically targets and cultivates internationally-trained professionals to ensure its position as a leader in transportation systems worldwide. The company stands apart for its 95 per cent retention rate of skilled immigrants whose efforts are integral to securing and servicing international business contracts.

•Deloitte: Toronto Star Award for Excellence in Workplace Integration

Deloitte has won the Toronto Star Award for Excellence in Workplace Integration. The global financial consulting firm understands that leveraging immigrant talent goes far beyond just recruitment. Beginning on day one of employment, Deloitte administers a comprehensive suite of supportive programs to connect newcomers to colleagues and professional development opportunities.

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