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24 Newcomers ready for employment in Canadian financial services sector after graduating from inaugural CIBC Connection to Employment™


Six-week job readiness training provided knowledge and skills development
    training for careers in financial services for qualified newcomersTORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - Today, 24 newcomers in the Greater Toronto Area
are on their way to starting a career in the Canadian financial services
industry. They are the first class of graduates from CIBC Connection to
Employment™, a free, unpaid, six-week job readiness training program for
qualified newcomers during which they learned about the business culture and
banking-specific information relevant in Canada. Professionals from the YMCA
and CIBC led the training which was held at the YMCA of Greater Toronto's
newcomer centre in downtown Toronto.
    "This program is the springboard for my future success. It is absolutely
fantastic," said Yuqi Peng, formerly of Hunan Province in China and who has
recently joined CIBC. "It not only provided me with essential soft skills,
like time and stress management, but also more confidence because CIBC and
YMCA helped me build a clear and solid career goal and shape a career path
with the skills and strategies I learned from this great program." Peng also
has a Commerce degree in Finance from the University of Windsor and an MBA
from Brock University.
    "For most newcomers to Canada, finding a job is one of their most
important first steps," said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice-President, CIBC
Retail Markets. "We are pleased that the CIBC Connection to Employment program
has been able to help give 24 newcomers the skills and information they need
to get a job in financial services. On behalf of CIBC, we offer our sincere
congratulations to our first class of graduates. We're looking forward to
working closely with the YMCA to expand the program going forward."
    "What an exciting time for these 24 newcomers," said the YMCA of Greater
Toronto's Laura Palmer Korn, Senior Vice President, Operations, Employment and
Community. "The YMCA is here to help people reach their fullest potential and
this program gives people the necessary knowledge to go out there and create
opportunity for them to find a job."
    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

    Additional Quotes from Program Participants

    "This program exceeded my expectations," said Angelica Perboni, who
brings to Canada 18 years of banking experience in Brazil. "I gained a deep,
new knowledge about how banking works in Canada. I am now better prepared to
look for a job in financial services with all that I have learned here."

    "Canada is new for us and even if we have a lot of work knowledge from
our home country, it's different," said Haiying (Barbara) Gu, who recently
came to Canada from Shenzhen, China. "You can't just read about this in books.
When you see the real world and see how to work with people, you get more
ideas and see how you can work here. The most important aspect is that we are
building up our self-confidence to move forward. Even if we don't get a job
right away, we will be more confident that we will find a job and be able to
contribute to this society and country."

    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.

    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, the CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation and United Way, we
are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the
country. In 2008, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million
worldwide to charitable and nonprofit initiatives. Of this, more than $27
million was invested in Canada to support national, regional and local
organizations. To learn more, visit

For further information:
For further information: YMCA: Celecia Partap, Manager, Public
Relations, (416) 413-1020, ext. 2350,; CIBC: Doug
Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, (416) 980-7458,