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CIBC & YMCA expand learning and career opportunities for newcomers
CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity™ will connect Vancouver newcomers to
    employment opportunities and support financial literacy in Vancouver &
    TorontoVANCOUVER, March 25 /CNW/ - After a successful pilot program of job
readiness training and financial literacy seminars for newcomers in Toronto in
2008, CIBC and YMCA are pleased to announce their renewed partnership and the
rollout of the two-part program in Vancouver this year. In addition, the
financial literacy seminars are being delivered in five locations this year
throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
    CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity provides information through Facts and
Finance™ seminars that newcomers need to make informed decisions about
financial services, build credit history, save, start a business and invest in
their families' future. The program also includes CIBC Connection to
Employment™, a free five-week job readiness training session for qualified
newcomers to give them the skills they need to land a job in Canada's
financial services sector.
    "CIBC Connection to Employment truly placed me on a trajectory for career
success," said Felix Quartey, a 2008 graduate and now a Loans Operations
Officer with CIBC in Toronto. "The soft and hard skills that I learned, like
negotiation, time management, career management, and the knowledge I gained on
Canadian banking will be useful throughout my career. My expectations were
absolutely exceeded. Anyone who is lucky enough to be selected into this
program will definitely enhance his/her human capital."
    "CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity was a resounding success in 2008," said
Christina Kramer, CIBC's Executive Vice-President of Retail Distribution.
"Feedback from the nearly 200 newcomers who attended the Facts and Finance
seminars in Toronto last year was very positive, particularly on how it
expanded their financial literacy. We are also pleased to have hired the
majority of the 24 graduates of the first CIBC Connection to Employment

    Facts & Finance - Toronto and Vancouver

    In Toronto beginning next month, the two-hour Facts and Finance seminar
series on Banking in Canada, Starting your own business, and Teaching your
children about money is being given at five YMCA locations: Downtown, North
York, Scarborough, Etobicoke and Brampton.
    In July, newcomers in Vancouver also will be able to attend the Facts and
Finance seminars throughout the year at the YMCA at 200-1166 Alberni Street in
downtown Vancouver.
    To register, visit or call 1-866-278-6209.

    Connection to Employment - Vancouver

    Beginning April 20, up to 25 qualified newcomers in Vancouver will take
part in the CIBC Connection to Employment job readiness training program which
will be delivered at the YMCA at 200-1166 Alberni Street in downtown
Vancouver. The application deadline is March 30th.
    To apply, visit or call 1-866-278-6209 or local
Vancouver 604-685-8066.
    "At the YMCA, we're committed to helping newcomers transition into their
new lives in Canada. We are proud to build on our longstanding relationship
with CIBC to deliver this program that will specifically help newcomers with
financial capacity, confidence, and awareness of the financial services sector
in Canada as well as create a talent pool for potential employers," said Bill
Stewart, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.
    CIBC YMCA Access to Opportunity builds on the YMCA's long history of
welcoming newcomers and helping them integrate into Canadian communities, and
CIBC's focus on financial advice, banking services and community support. It
also 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.

    About YMCA

    The YMCA of Greater Vancouver's mission is to support the growth of
people in spirit, mind and body and to foster a sense of responsibility to
each other and the global community. As a values-based charity dedicated to
building strong kids, strong families and strong communities, the YMCA of
Greater Vancouver served over 64,000 people of all ages, cultural backgrounds
and economic circumstances across the Lower Mainland in 2008. The YMCA offers
diverse programs at 138 locations throughout the region including child care,
health and wellness, camps, employment, and international and community
development. To learn more, visit

    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: Signi Solmundson, Senior Manager,
Communications, (778) 558-8845,; CIBC: Doug
Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, (416) 980-7458,