WES Mariam Assefa Fund Grantee Partners

Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN)

Category: Skills and Supports

Amount: CSD$300,000

Term: Dec. 2020 - Nov. 2022  

Focus: TCBN is developing career pathways for immigrant and refugee workers in the construction sector, especially workers of colour, women, and youth affected by COVID-19.  

About TCBN

Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) represents a coalition of more than 120 community and labour organizations and social enterprises. TCBN cultivates and supports the implementation of community benefits agreements with infrastructure and urban development projects in the Greater Toronto Area to increase apprenticeships, training, and employment opportunities for communities, including newcomer communities, that are experiencing barriers to employment.

What type of work will the grant enable?

COVID-19 has had an impact on virtually every aspect of employment, and many immigrants and refugees have been affected. TCBN is helping newcomers use their transferrable skills to pursue well-paid employment opportunities associated with community benefits agreements in the construction sector, focusing on both trades and PAT (professional, administrative, and technical) jobs.  TCBN is conducting focused outreach and offering targeted support services, including training and mentoring, to address barriers that prevent newcomers from accessing and retaining employment in construction. TCBN is also actively engaging with unions and employers assisting them with tools and strategies to hire a diverse workforce.

Why is this work important?

For more than five years, TCBN has supported people who are underrepresented in construction, including immigrants, BIPOC, women, and youth. This grant will allow TCBN to develop and test a model that provides more comprehensive support to immigrants and refugees and address gender issues within the sector. TCBN seeks to expand its model in the Greater Toronto Area, share what it learns, and support the model’s replication with other vulnerable communities and community benefits coalitions in cities and provinces across Canada.