Promising practices in business-community collaboration

February 13, 2015

The Prince’s Canadian Responsible Business Network’s innovative pilot in North Etobicoke (Rexdale) has engaged multiple businesses and community organizations through a series of coordinated initiatives.

Community MicroSkills Development Centre is one of PCRBN’s community collaborators in Rexdale. MicroSkills is a multi-cultural, non-profit, community-based organization committed to assisting the unemployed, women, racial minorities, youth and newcomers since 1984.

MicroSkills Youth Services serve nearly 1300 Rexdale youth per year. They offer drop-in services, after school programming, social recreation programs, newcomer youth engagement and an employment resource centre.

Some key initiatives that PCRBN and MicroSkills have collaborated on include:

mini-Prince’s Seeing is Believing visit day – 6 PCRBN staff and business volunteers spent an afternoon with MicroSkills’ youth workers and senior staff to learn about the local work MicroSkills is involved in and hear from youth about the impact MicroSkills’ programs have had on their lives.

Rexdale Prince’s Seeing is Believing visit day – PCRBN worked collaboratively with 6 community partners, including MicroSkills, to plan a Prince’s Seeing is Believing visit day. 15 c-suite business executives spent the morning at the Rexdale Community Hub meeting with local youth and community workers to learn more about youth employment programs and the challenges youth are facing in gaining employment.

Small Steps, Big Success Youth Forum – PCRBN worked collaboratively with the Rexdale Community Hub, including MicroSkills staff, to plan a local Youth Forum. 76 youth were able to hear from a panel of professionals, take part in career skills learning workshops, and network with 16 business mentors from a range of industries, including banking, finance, law, marketing and communication.

Youth in Supply Chain – currently in progress, PCRBN’s George Weston Limited business volunteers are bringing thought leadership to MicroSkills’ Supply Chain program by: supporting curriculum development; engaging industry leaders to support program activities; and providing work placements to youth.

KPMG ‘Skills for Work’ Discovery Day– currently in progress, PCRBN’s KPMG business volunteers are working collaboratively with MicroSkills’ staff to plan an exciting March Break visit day at KPMG’s downtown office. Grades 11 and 12 youth will take part in interactive activities, games, and workshops that will help them learn about and develop key soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace.