A 10-year record of immigrant success: Hepburn

posted on May 14, 2014

By Bob Hepburn, the Star | Link to Article

By Bob Hepburn, the Star | Link to Article

Oddly, Ratna Omidvar dreams of the day the organization she helped launch some 10 years ago goes out of business.
“In my heart of hearts, I wish five years from now we didn’t exist,” says Omidvar, the initial executive director of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), who now chairs the group’s board of directors.

To her thinking, shutting down TRIEC would be a clear sign that the small yet influential council had succeeded beyond its wildest aspirations, opening employment doors for all skilled immigrants and convincing big and small companies that hiring talented newcomers is good for business.

Since its beginning, TRIEC has developed into one of the top agencies whose goal is to help newcomers find jobs in the Toronto area and raise awareness among employers about the advantages of hiring skilled immigrants.

It offers a myriad of services for immigrants and employers, such as mentoring programs, networking groups and tool kits to help companies better integrate skilled immigrants into their workplace.

In its own way, it is helping erase the so-called “seduced-and-abandoned” reputation that Canada garnered after countless reports of skilled immigrants being encouraged by Canada to immigrate here, only to find no jobs in their field or employment doors slammed in their faces.

Over the past decade TRIEC has become so admired that it is now copied in 12 cities across Canada and in countries around the world, including the U.S., Finland, Germany and New Zealand.

Indeed, it is a true Canadian success story.

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