Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 8, 2015)
Here are some of the reasons why General Motors of Canada Company was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- GM Canada provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments for new moms and dads and offers an option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence -- the company also supports adoptive parents with a subsidy to help cover the costs of adoption (to $5,000 per child)
- Through GM Canada's unique Ambassador Program, employees can take company vehicles home for a short period of time, giving each employee a chance to enjoy the products they build
- GM Canada is a major recruiter of young people and provides students and new grads a number of opportunities to gain on-the-job experience, including summer student roles, co-op opportunities and paid internships -- the company also created "JumpStart", an affinity group for new hires with less than 5 years of experience
General Motors technology drives the future
Automated and autonomous driving. Cars and trucks that can "talk to each other" and help avoid crashes. Electric and other alternative propulsion systems that provide more energy-efficient, cleaner drives.
For Brian Tossan, Director of General Motors' Oshawa-based Engineering Centre, these are all aspects of tomorrow's safer, greener and more "connected" car - and they are coming to a road near you in the not-so-distant future.
"We're expecting more change in this industry in the next five years than we've seen in the last 50 years," says Tossan. "It's a very exciting time to be in the business."
The vision of the "connected car" - one that's programmed to be more aware of how it interfaces with its environment while also allowing consumers to bring their digital lives into their vehicles - is driving a hiring boom at GM Canada's Engineering Centre.
"We have just over 300 engineers working here," says Tossan. "We are currently hiring another 100 engineers to support our vision of the connected car. These will be people with the software development and controls diagnostic skills required to design the new features. The fact is the technologies being developed in our industry today are as fresh and new as anything that's out there."
Some of those technologies will soon hit the pavement. GM is introducing a 2017 Cadillac model featuring "super-cruise" technology that will provide the ability to drive hands-free and feet-free under certain highway conditions.
Jasinthen Gopalapillai joined GM Canada as a software engineer this past April after several years working in the fields of mobile communications and mobile games.
"What really excited me was the potential for autonomous driving technology to change not just the automobile industry, but other industries as well," says Gopalapillai. "I really wanted to be part of that by taking my core experience in the mobile space and applying it to a new domain."
Gopalapillai has been impressed by the level of teamwork and innovation he's seen at GM. "This is a large company but working where I do feels more like being part of small start-up," he says. "There's a real ease of communication with managers and between team members. People are open to new ideas and learning from each other."
Gopalapillai is currently taking courses towards a master's degree in computer science, specializing in machine learning. He sees this as a key step towards his goal of working as a technical manager in that field. GM reimburses him for those courses, part of a program that provides employees with up to $8,000 in tuition support.
Another attraction of working at GM is the company's emphasis on providing strong work-life balance through initiatives such as flexible hours, telecommuting and attractive vacation and time-off policies.
"That's quite important to me because I have a seven-month-old daughter and another baby on the way," says Gopalapillai. "I'm very family-oriented and I want to be involved in my children's growth and activities. For that to happen, you need to work for a company that believes in balance and I think GM is very good at that."
Recruiting and mentoring younger engineers like Gopalapillai is one of the most appealing parts of the job for Tossan, a 17-year GM Canada veteran.
"At the end of the day, it's all about the people and the ability to develop new talent right here in Canada," he says. "We're building the future of what transportation is going to look like. For the people with the right technical skills, that's going to make for a very appealing and rewarding career."
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Greater Toronto's Top Employers winners, published December 8, 2015 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 21, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why General Motors of Canada Company was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):
- GM Canada's CAMI Assembly achieved landfill free status in 2014, joining the St. Catharines Powertrain facility that achieved landfill free status in 2008 (a status the facility has since maintained) -- the company's main Oshawa assembly plant reached a 94 percent waste diversion rate towards its goal of zero waste and across the company GM manages over 100 facilities that send zero waste to landfills
- All GM Canada manufacturing facilities meet the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy STAR Challenge for Industry -- over 57,000 MWh of electricity savings have been realized through energy reduction projects since 2010, which is the equivalent of the annual use of over 3,500 average homes
- As part of a longer term perspective, GM Canada's parent company shifted gears and made major investments in hybrid and all-electric automobiles of the future, from the hybrid Chevrolet Volt, introduced in 2011, to the recently released all-electric Spark EV