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The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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JVS Toronto and Ryerson build on partnership

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Sheldon Levy

TORONTO — In the 65 years since Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) Toronto was founded, the non-profit organization has continued to evolve and reach out to other organizations that can help in its mission to assist immigrants overcome employment and educational barriers.

At JVS Toronto’s annual general meeting earlier this month at Shaarei Tefillah Congregation, Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy pledged his commitment to the partnership that has formed between Ryerson and JVS Toronto.

Throughout his address, Levy highlighted how his school prepares people for employment and builds careers, and touched on the joint collaborations Ryerson has with JVS Toronto.

One of the programs that ran for the first time last year is called Immigrant Professionals Leveraging Architectural Knowledge for New Opportunities (I-Plan).

JVS Toronto partnered with Ryerson, as well as the Ontario Tourism Education Council, and the Career Edge Organization, to create a bridge-training program designed for internationally educated professionals in architecture.

I-Plan is a 14-week program that offers those with an international education and work experience in architecture, with an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to integrate into the Canadian architectural workforce.

The next session starts in January 2013, and those who qualify can apply in October by contacting iplan@jvstoronto.org.

Another program that has JVS Toronto and Ryerson working together is called Integrated Pre-arrival Services Online (IPSO).

This government-funded partnership project provides online services including language training and mentoring for people who were professionally trained outside of Canada and plan to immigrate here.

The program helps newcomers integrate into the Canadian labour market more efficiently.

JVS Toronto CEO Frank Markel said he and his staff are motivated to introduce new programs and build partnerships because “we recognize the tremendous need we see in our community.”

Markel said he’s inspired by “new immigrants, wanting to bring their considerable skills to the Canadian workplace, people… who are determined to break through the barriers that confront them, and those who seek the guidance and insight that our psychological and educational services can provide.”

Of course, he added, JVS Toronto is not able to provide the programs needed to serve the community alone.

“What we have come to realize is that education and employment are inextricably linked. Better education leads to better jobs,” Markel said.

“We know employment, and Ryerson knows education. Put the two together and we believe we will have something special.”

Outgoing JVS Toronto chair Ruth Abrahamson, – who is being replaced by Paul Habert – also spoke of Ryerson as an “exciting and growing partner.”

“We share many of the same goals –namely to build a strong, vibrant and skilled workforce. We have complementary expertise and we are keen to put our collective talents together to ensure greater successes.”

For more information about the programs and partnerships, visit www.jvstoronto.org.

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