Meeting Date: April 18, 2007

Subject: Employment Services Activities

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Commission receive this report for information noting that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) actively engages in a number of outreach initiatives in order to attract a diverse workforce. 

Background

Outlined below is a summary of the various different initiatives categorized by type.  While the specifics within each category will change somewhat from year to year, the types of programs and initiatives supported are generally the same. 

As Outreach can take many forms, for the TTC and the purposes of this summary, it includes everything from recruitment advertising strategies, non-paid work placements, job fairs and employment presentations to developing specific employment programs and participating in internships and mentoring programs.  The following provides a brief overview of each of the initiatives, with some further details regarding the specifics for 2006.

Employment Presentations

The TTC provides employment presentations within the City of Toronto to any employment centre, organization, program or school that requests an Employment Opportunities type of presentation.  The presentations include information on what types of jobs are available at the TTC, how and when to apply for those jobs, as well as an overview of each of the recruitment programs available (i.e. summer, maintenance, transit operator).  Presentations are also customized for those who may wish further information on a particular topic or issue that is not normally covered. In 2006 the following presentations were conducted at the following locations:

• COSTI (Immigrant Services) Employment Centre on College Street (two presentations)
• Times Change Women’s Employment Service (presentation made on Women’s Day)
• Scarborough Community (presentation at Albert Campbell Library)
• York Region District School Board (presentation for teachers)
• YMCA in North York
• Chesswood Employment Centre in North York
• Humber College Centre for Experienced Workers

Job Fairs

Job fairs are attended throughout any given year and vary from year to year.   They can be general job fairs as well as those that support either community based events or specific professions or groups.

• Annual New Canadians & Visible Minorities Job Fair at the Metro Convention Centre.
• Commissioner Saundercook’s Youth Job Fair.  
• General Job Fair at the Rogers Centre.
• General Job Fair at the Scarborough Town Centre.
• Three Youth Employment Job Fairs for Youth at-risk. 

Non-paid Work Placements

In the past few years, the TTC has supported over 40 different non-paid work placement programs.  The programs include community based and government funded programs, high schools and post secondary institutions.  The programs vary in terms of duration but typically provide non-paid work placement opportunities as part of either a diploma, degree or certificate program and are specific to either youth, foreign trained professionals, persons with disabilities, women, new Canadians and adults re-entering the workforce.  Some of the primary programs utilized include: Skills for Change, ACCES (Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services), Yorkdale Adult Learning Centre and St. Stephen’s Employment Centre. Foreign trained professionals and students have been placed in a wide range of different placements including Engineering, Information Technology, Purchasing, Human Resources and some skilled trades.  Given the broad range of occupations available at the TTC, all requests for placements are given consideration and reviewed. In the past 3 years the TTC has supported over 250 individuals in non-paid work placements.   

Recruitment Advertising & Other Partnerships

In addition to participating in placement opportunities to support the employment of a diverse workforce, the TTC also incorporates diversity strategies into its recruitment advertising efforts for external positions.   Recruitment advertising initiatives range from photos that reflect a diverse workforce, to advertising in College & University Handbook and job boards, to advertising on a diverse number of websites and community or ethnic newspapers.  The tag line on our newspaper advertisements also incorporates a diversity message, that is, “Careers as Diverse as our Great City”.

In the past year, in addition to routine advertising initiatives, some more extensive outreach and advertising campaigns were undertaken for Transit Operators and Transit Special Constables.  

A poster campaign in the subway, along with newspaper advertisements in various community papers was done to attract Transit Operator applicants.  The advertisements and posters included photos of existing TTC Operators of all backgrounds, including women and non-white males.   Similarly for Transit Special Constables, an extensive diverse advertising campaign was done which included newspaper advertisements in a number of ethnic papers, websites targeted at law enforcement careers for women and minorities, and job fairs.  The advertisements included a photo reflecting the diversity of the Constables.     

In addition to the above initiatives, the TTC has also established a number of partnerships in the community with various agencies and programs.  One initiative that has been in place for many years is Equitek.  Equitek extracts all job opportunities posted on the TTC’s website once per week and then broadcasts them to their network of over 250 of its diversity partners.  This is a swift and expedient way to reach out to thousands of applicants.

In addition to the partnership with Equitek, there are a number of partnerships with various employment centres, for example, JVS (Jewish Vocational Services), Service Canada, ACCES, Kesher Employment and St. Stephen’s Employment Centre whereby they will forward screened resumés of their clients to TTC directly for our advertised positions.   
A further partnership was recently established with St. Stephen’s Employment Centre whereby the TTC has information available within the Employment Office to refer applicants to St. Stephen’s, should they wish to take advantage of the services and programs offered by them, for example resumé writing, use of computers and internet, and job skills training, etc.

Youth Employment Program for Youth At-Risk

In 2006, in support of the Mayor’s Community Safety Plan, the TTC developed an Outreach & Recruitment Program in order to hire youth from the priority neighbourhoods. TTC staff worked closely with the City’s Youth Employment Partnership to ensure that the network was in place to provide the outreach needed to reach out to the youth.  The recruitment plan was such that TTC staff conducted four two-day Information & In-Person interviewing sessions throughout the City (Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York & Metro Hall).  Eighty-seven (87) at-risk youth were hired in 2006 in various positions within the summer student and seasonal maintenance hiring programs.  The program was very successful.  To date, 14 of the youth hired last year have been placed into full-time regular positions and 48 will be re-hired back in 2007 into the seasonal and summer programs.  The program is underway again in 2007 and an additional 52 new youth will be hired into various seasonal and summer positions.   

Internships – Career Edge, Career Bridge

Over the past five years, the TTC has supported foreign trained professionals and recent graduates in various internship opportunities.  Career Edge is an initiative designed to bridge the employment gap for recent graduates, i.e. no job no experience - no experience no job.  Internships are paid by the employer and are very cost effective. The intern is not considered an employee of the TTC as the costs are non-labour. The interns are given meaningful work experience which often leads to finding employment in their field.  Internships range from six months to one year.  The Career Bridge program is for foreign trained professionals.  The applicants’ credentials are verified by Career Bridge.  The intention is to provide some Canadian work experience in their field.  The TTC participated in Career Bridge’s pilot program a few years ago and was one of the first employers to retain an intern.  In total, the TTC has supported 12 internships in a variety of roles. 

University & College Co-op Work Terms

The TTC supports an average of 100 university and college co-op placements each year.  These co-op placements are paid placements whereby the students require work terms in order to graduate.  TTC staff work directly with the college or university to post and recruit the students from specific programs/disciplines. The co-op placements are primarily recruited in Engineering and Information Technology.    

TRIEC (Toronto Region Immigrant Council) Corporate Mentoring Partnership

TTC became a corporate partner with the Mentoring Partnership in 2006.  The Mentoring Partnership is a mentoring program for foreign trained professionals.  As a corporate partner, employees within the organization are asked to volunteer to mentor a foreign trained professional within their same occupation, from outside the organization.  All staff employees were invited to attend an information session.  The intent is not to find the mentees employment but to provide them with a coach/mentor in their occupation with whom they can network with for support and gain some understanding of the Canadian workplace/culture (i.e. could involve assisting with resumé or interview skills, attending meetings in the workplace, etc).   To date 23 employees have volunteered to become mentors.

Continuing Education & Workshops for Recruitment Staff

In addition to participating in outreach initiatives, the Employment Services staff attend seminars, workshops and training to keep abreast of the ever changing issues related to employment and diversity.  The following are some examples:
• Workshop – Turning Diversity into Profit on March 27, 2006 hosted by Career Bridge
• Workshop – Hiring for Cultural Diversity (attended by all staff)
• Attended the Top 100 Employers Summit on March 27 and 28, 2006
• Attended a Summit on the Mature Workforce on November 14, 2006
• Skills without Borders – Seminar Series offered by ACCES

Overview of 2006 External Hires

Outlined below is a brief summary of all external employees hired in 2006, sorted by position type.  The total number of hires for each position category is provided along with the number and resultant percentage of women and visible minorities hired within each position category.

Total  / Number  / Percentage
Positions /  Hires  / Women & Visible Min / Women & Visible Min

Transit Operators  /502/324/65%
Unionized Positions /225/107/48%
(regular & temporary
Summer Students  /290/184/63%
Co-op Students /81/54/67%
Staff Positions /89/50/56%
(regular & temporary)

Over the past few years,  the TTC has established a number of partnerships and liaisons with numerous organizations and programs in the City, fostering and reinforcing our role in the community as not only an employer of choice but an employer who is active in its commitment to the community.  The TTC has not only been commended by our Community partners for our participation and support but has also been nominated and received awards of appreciation for our demonstrated commitment to diversity.

March 28, 2007
40-96