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In 2005, 20 top executives at TD Bank Group volunteered to mentor skilled immigrants through The Mentoring Partnership, a program of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). TD became a founding partner of the program and by 2011, TD employees had mentored nearly 700 skilled immigrants.
By mentoring these newcomers, TD not only contributed to the community but also became better connected to new talent and established a solid reputation with newcomers to Toronto.
“The Mentoring Partnership delivers that win-win-win factor,” says Susan Calahan, Manager of Diversity Recruitment at TD. “It connects newcomers to productive employment, develops our leaders and attracts talented employees.”
In 2009, ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Solutions) launched the National Mentoring Initiative, a turn-key mentoring program that communities across Canada can adapt to suit their local realities. TD saw the national program as an opportunity to replicate the benefits it had experienced with The Mentoring Partnership in cities across the country.
“They had the vision to take mentoring national before anyone else did,” says Peter Paul, project leader of ALLIES. And just as it had done with The Mentoring Partnership, TD became a founding corporate partner of the National Mentoring Initiative.
Through the initiative, ALLIES provides coaching on how to set up mentoring programs, train staff and recruit mentors and mentees. There are also tools and resources to support mentors and mentees, including a mentoring toolkit, videos and tip sheets.
There are now mentoring programs in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, with TD employees participating in a number of these centres.
ALLIES has celebrated TD’s success in the program in many ways, including featuring mentors and mentees at conferences, online and in the media. By highlighting TD’s involvement, ALLIES was able to encourage other corporations, such as Pitney Bowes, KPMG and Deloitte, to also join the initiative. This in turn increased awareness of the local mentoring programs and raised TD’s profile as a national trailblazer.
“The TD brand is now strongly associated with immigrant employment solutions,” says Paul, and the company has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians.
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