CIBC and the YMCA of Greater Toronto launch program to help newcomers settle in Canada
CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity™ will connect newcomers to employment opportunities and support financial literacy TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - Among the many challenges faced by newcomers to Canada is getting meaningful information about day-to-day banking - accessing credit, opening a bank account, starting a business and most importantly, getting financial advice to help them plan their future in their new country. As well, foreign trained newcomers often face the added challenge of finding a job in their field. To help overcome barriers to settling in Canada, CIBC and the YMCA of Greater Toronto today launched a new program, CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity™. Building on the YMCA's strong history of connecting with newcomers, and CIBC's focus on financial advice, banking services and community support, CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity will feature a series of seminars called Facts & Finance™. The seminars are designed to provide the information newcomers need to make informed decisions about financial services, build credit history, save, start a business and invest in their families' future. In addition, the program also includes an innovative six-week job readiness training program, CIBC Connection to Employment™, that will put qualified individuals directly in touch with the skills they need to access employment at CIBC and in financial services. "Newcomers play an important role in shaping Canada's future and we are excited to join forces with the YMCA of Greater Toronto to assist new Canadians as they get settled in Toronto," said Sonia Baxendale, Senior Executive Vice-President, Retail Markets for CIBC. "The first days and months in a new country are both exciting and challenging and getting solid advice about financial options is critical to getting a great start. Whether it's knowing how to open a banking account, or understand how to invest for your children's future in a new country, CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity will assist newcomers as they get started." "Finding a job upon arrival in Canada is also a key priority," added Baxendale. "Through CIBC Connection to Employment we are investing in qualified individuals to give them the skills and knowledge they need to get a job at CIBC or in the financial services sector." "At the YMCA of Greater Toronto, we're committed to helping newcomers transition into their new lives here in Toronto. We connect with one out of two newcomers to Toronto, by giving them the tools and information needed to settle into this country successfully. We have a broad range of programs at the YMCA for newcomers and are proud to build on our longstanding relationship with CIBC to deliver this new program that will specifically help newcomers with financial capacity, confidence, and awareness of the financial services in Canada as well as create a talent pool for potential employers," says Scott Haldane, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto. About Facts & Finance Facts and Finance provides advice and information to enable newcomers to make informed financial decisions on how to save, establish credit history, start a business and invest in their families' future, Facts & Finance includes financial literacy seminars on:- Banking in Canada - Starting your own business - Teaching your children about moneyThe seminars will be hosted at the YMCA Newcomer Centres in the GTA with the first series commencing in July and August. About CIBC Connection to Employment The inaugural CIBC Connection to Employment program will run in the fall 2008, with the first group graduating in November. The free six-week job readiness program will focus on the technical, cultural and job specific training qualified newcomers need to get a job at CIBC or in financial services. Information on the criteria and curriculum, as well as applications for the program will be available at YMCA Newcomer Centres in July. "We are proud to be the founding sponsor of this unique newcomer program," added Baxendale. "CIBC has a long history with the YMCA through the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program™ and corporate donations. We also have a long history of supporting new Canadians and were recognized in October 2007 by Canadian Immigrant Magazine as one of Canada's Top Employers for Workplace Diversity. We were also recognized this year by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers as one of Canada's Best Employers of New Canadians." CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity builds on CIBC's continued focus on addressing the distinct needs of newcomers through a diverse employee base, relevant product solutions like a newcomer mortgage and credit card as well as our broad multicultural capabilities across our branches, call centres, ABMs and website. For more information, visit www.cibcymcanewcomers.ca. About YMCA The YMCA of Greater Toronto is one of the region's most dynamic charities, connecting with and touching the lives of nearly half a million people in the GTA every year. With a budget of $150 million, we are the second-largest YMCA in North America with 3,000 employees and 3,500 volunteers in over 200 locations. The YMCA is actively engaged with some 250 corporations, organizations and community partners, and our role in the community is far reaching. Our extensive connections with the community include newcomer programs, youth outreach and intervention, fitness and recreation, education and employment programs, family support and social services, child care, and overnight and day camping. www.ymcagta.org About CIBC CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, United Way and the CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2007, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community initiatives. Of this, $27 million was invested in Canada to support national regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas FACT SHEET- Canada accepts more than 250,000 newcomers on an annual basis and connecting to the financial mainstream is just one of the many challenges they face. According to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS): - When immigrants are better equipped to make informed financial decisions, they will reach self-sufficiency more quickly and integrate into their new communities more successfully. - The upward mobility of newcomers is ultimately linked to their ability to make informed financial decisions. New immigrants' access to accurate and timely financial information soon after their arrival helps to shape their financial future and strengthen communities. According to the 2006 Census: - Recent immigrants are more than twice as likely as someone born in Canada to have a low income. Recent immigrants earn only about 60 per cent of what Canadian-born workers are paid. - Immigration is the area that breaks the link from education to earnings. Education attainment of immigrants has been rising, yet a recent male immigrant with a university degree earns 48 per cent of what his Canadian-born counterpart gets. - Immigrants account for 45.7% of the Toronto's total population of 5,072,100, up from 43.7% in 2001. This represents over 2.3 million people. - An estimated 253,600 newcomers, just over one-half (56.6%), are in the prime working years of 25 to 54. - 72% of prime working-age immigrants in Ontario have a degree from an international university. Only 25% of the same age group from Ontario's total population are as educated. - In 1980, recent immigrant men earned 85 cents for every dollar of their Canadian-born counterparts. In 2005, that number plummeted to 63 cents. The drop was even more pronounced for immigrant women, who went from earning 85 cents by comparison in 1980 to only 56 cents in 2005. - Recent immigrant men holding a degree earned only 48 cents for each dollar their university educated, Canadian-born counterparts did. Some 30 per cent of male immigrants with a university degree worked in jobs that required no more than a high-school education - more than twice the rate of those born in Canada. - The gap was actually less for non-university educated immigrants, who earned 61 cents to every dollar earned by their Canadian-born counterparts.