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TTC Connects looking to open eyes to opportunities in transportation sector

Angela Gismondi
TTC Connects looking to open eyes to opportunities in transportation sector
TTC — TTC Connects virtual information sessions have been held by the Toronto Transit Commission in an effort to attract women and other underrepresented groups to careers in the transportation agency.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is holding a series of virtual information sessions called TTC Connects, reaching out to those interested in career opportunities in the transportation agency, with the goal of increasing diversity and supporting inclusivity.

And while it may not immediately present itself as a place for an apprentice or tradesperson, there are actually many opportunities available within the commission.

“The purpose of the series overall is for us to reach out to potential jobseekers but also maybe people who never considered the TTC as a place to work or never considered these particular jobs as jobs for them,” Milly Bernal, senior communications specialist — employee communications with the TTC, told the Daily Commercial News.

Recent graduates in engineering, construction and technical roles were targeted with a session in April.

“One of the reasons we targeted recent graduates for that one is because we had some entry level positions that we wanted to promote and we wanted to reach the next generation of employees who want to make an impact building something significant in the city of Toronto,” Bernal said. “The second one we had is skilled tradespersons and apprentices. We had some job openings in these areas we wanted to feature as well.

“Trades is a booming industry and there are going to be a lot of opportunities.”

The series started in the fall of 2020 and the first session was geared to women as transit operators.

“The session specifically focused on promoting the job of transit operator which is a great job but has been traditionally a male dominated field to women,” said Bernal. “When we were talking about the pandemic last year and the impacts of the pandemic were having on the community and the City of Toronto, one of the things we realized is that the pandemic affected women more so than men in terms of jobs.”

At the same time, the diversity and inclusion department at the TTC had developed a 10-point action plan and the sessions were part of it.

“We were already looking into ways to support diversity and inclusion at the TTC and recruit new workers to various parts of the TTC to help us create an inclusive workplace and part of that is for the TTC to be truly representative of the demographics of the city that we live in and serve,” Bernal explained. “When we looked at the proportion of how many of our transit operators are men and how many identify as women, we found that the great majority at that time was men and we thought this was a good opportunity to promote the job to women.”

Although not every session is targeted specifically to women, the intent is to reach them and other underrepresented groups.

“None of the sessions this year have that specific focus, but we do for all of them keep that in mind,” Bernal said. “When we’re promoting these we want to attract diverse applicants and we want to promote opportunities to people who may not have considered them before. We promote a lot with the schools, post-secondary and training schools, on social media. This approach is a little different. In the past we didn’t used to do our outreach like this, not to this scale. We hope to reach some new audiences.”

Sessions feature current employees who share their experience working at the TTC as well as a question-and-answer period.

“We ask a diverse group of employees to share their own personal experiences working at the TTC and in some cases their career growth,” said Bernal. “We usually also have the CEO and a representative for diversity and inclusion. Generally, we want to present the TTC as an employer of choice, a great place to work and explain a bit about the benefits, how to apply or what the benefit might be for these career paths and what opportunities are currently available.”

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