Ontario Chamber facilitates integration of immigrants with global experience

    TORONTO, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is
sponsoring seven local community projects designed to engage employers in
efforts to integrate internationally trained professionals and trades people.
    The OCC initiative, entitled Global Experience @ Work, involves over 80
community organizations in the province, including 9 local chambers of
commerce and boards of trade.
    "We're proud to help local chambers of commerce and boards of trade
further invest in their communities," says Len Crispino, President & CEO of
the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Since each one was conceived of by local
community organizations, including business groups, employment agencies,
training boards and colleges, and agencies serving immigrants, they've been
designed to meet the specific needs of those regions."
    Global Experience @ Work is part of an OCC strategy to better promote
Ontario as a career, business and investment destination of choice, and to
ensure that Ontario keeps pace with a competitive global economy by investing
in human capital. It's been reported that by 2011 immigration will account for
100% of Canada's labour force growth, making it even more important that
employers and immigrants connect.
    "We're already facing crippling shortages of skilled workers in Ontario,
a shortage that will only get worse as a result of a declining birthrate and
more retiring workers," explains Crispino. "Global Experience @ Work provides
the vital link to employers that is essential if we're to help immigrants
maximize their employment potential and contributions to our economy."
    Local projects will result in the following: direct placements,
mentorships and internships for internationally trained workers in SMEs,
diversity and cross-cultural training for employers, seminars and toolkits.
Additional initiatives will focus on increasing the understanding immigrants
have about employment integration, prior to their arrival in Ontario.
    Global Experience @ Work proceeds with the support of the Ministry of
Citizenship and Immigration. Local projects were chosen after a detailed
review process, from proposals submitted by local chambers of commerce and
boards of trade. They will take place in Brampton, Hamilton,
Kitchener-Waterloo, Markham, Ottawa, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines and

    The OCC represents over 57,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of
Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since
1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the
economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance &
taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

For further information:

For further information: Amy Terrill, Director, Media Relations and
Communications, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241, C:
(416) 605-8205; Leslie Walker, Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce, (905)
884-1961; Sheldon Leiba, Brampton Board of Trade, (905) 451-1122; Gail P.
Logan, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, (613) 236-3631; Debbi Nicholson, Greater
Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, (705) 673-7133; Walter Sendzik, St Catharines
Thorold Chamber of Commerce, (905) 684-2361; John Dolbec, Hamilton Chamber of
Commerce, (905) 522-1151; Todd Letts, Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of
Commerce, (519) 576-5000

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