As you probably know, I’m a human resources’ professional in the business of connecting people to meaningful work and rewarding careers for over thirty years. In my capacity as CEO of The Staffing Exchange Inc., I dedicate an enormous amount of time and energy into conceptualizing and creating a better experience for all stakeholders – clients, recruiters, and candidates – because I’m a firm proponent that rigorous thought leadership unleashes potential and amplifies impact.
I’m also heavily-invested in the community where I work and live.
In fact, for the past two years, I’ve had the privilege to serve on the Board of Directors of Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS), a GTA-based, national not-for-profit organization that helps newcomers, immigrants and refugees of various religions, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds settle, integrate and prosper in Canada.
Since seeing the work first-hand, it’s clear that what the organization does from a diversity perspective is very important. From its humble beginnings in a downtown church in 1954, CCS has grown into one of the largest settlement organizations in Canada, a leader in the social services field and an innovator in service delivery. In 2018 alone, over 200 employees and 100’s of volunteers collaborated with over forty social services’ partners in delivering more than thirty programs to over 28,000 clients in the GTA and across Canada through our Refugee Sponsorship Training Program brand.
But CCS wants to do more and I heartily endorse this goal. Here’s why. One million newcomers have come to Canada in the last three years. As a nation, we help people get here, but sometimes integration isn’t easy for them. Language can be a barrier and it can be a big challenge to gain a strategic understanding of what it takes to successfully transition into the Canadian workforce.
The challenge is how do we help them grow their careers, not just work at a ‘job’? We need to help them connect the dots, address the misconceptions in the marketplace and better package their value proposition.
Simply put, everybody deserves the opportunity to have a great career and enjoy the dignity and respect that go along with it. While many newcomers come here with no Canadian work experience, they do have excellent experience, nonetheless. Many newcomers, such as health care professionals, for example, enjoyed thriving careers in their countries of origin, but once in Canada, they not only needed to learn the language, they also had to acquire the licensing and accreditation to practice legally.
CSS addresses this scenario head-on with programs offering English-language training and workshops tailored to international health care professionals and their industry. One of the speakers at their recent annual general meeting was a graduate of this program. He said it gave him back his self-confidence. Imagine that, a doctor in his home country, and educated at one of the best schools prior to immigrating, and he still found it daunting as a newcomer to Canada!?
CCS’ goal is to scale up offerings like these to give newcomers a competitive advantage, and they need your help.
I encourage you to visit the organization’s website: https://www.cathcrosscultural.org/ for a more substantial overview of the CCS mission. I am happy to connect you with CCS’ fund development director, Darcy Bonner, who can walk you through options on how you can support their work, or you can donate directly at: https://www.cathcrosscultural.org/how-can-you-help/
Your investment will enable CCS to increase capacity, lead change and accelerate the value of dignity.