Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 19, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton, City of was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
- City of Edmonton encourages employees to build their skills through various in-house training initiatives as well as a job secondment program that includes assignments in other city departments for up to 2 years in duration
- City of Edmonton helps employees save for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and offers retirement planning assistance, as well as phased-in work options for those nearing retirement
- City of Edmonton offers a generous health spending account as part of its health benefits plan, allowing employees to top up coverage according to their personal needs (up to $1,100 per year)
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton, City of was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- City of Edmonton hosts an annual student conference, allowing summer, co-op and graduate students to showcase their work to staff, stakeholders and community members -- the conference is planned by students and offers opportunities to network with future employers and colleagues
- In partnership with the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, the City of Edmonton is piloting a rotational Tri-Level Pre-professional Finance Officer program to help accounting students gain experience at each level of government -- additionally, the city facilitates the Chartered Professional Accounting (CPA) pre-approved training program for new graduates which includes rotations in financial services, financial strategies and budget, the Office of the City Auditor and a permanent accountant position at the end of the 30-month program
- In partnership with Careers: The Next Generation, the City of Edmonton brings on approximately 10 high school students a year to explore a career in the trades -- the students complete 160 hours over the summer, with the opportunity to work for 5 months during the school year for up to 1,000 hours in their chosen field while receiving high school credits for their hours
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 28, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton, City of was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
- City of Edmonton maintains a Women@theCity committee, dedicated to examining women's issues and engagement, and utilizes gender-based analysis, an analytical tool to assess the potential impacts of policies, programs, services and other initiatives on diverse groups of women and men
- City of Edmonton created a summer student program to provide Indigenous high school and post-secondary students with paid work experience for up to 5 months -- 28 individuals were hired in 2017 and 41 individuals were hired in 2018
- City of Edmonton supports the employment efforts of job-seekers with disabilities through the Abilities in Action work experience program, which provides meaningful work experience to persons with developmental disabilities -- offered in partnership with Excel Society, the tiered training program offers candidates opportunities to work as bus cleaners
The City of Edmonton strives to include everyone
Edmontonians have long taken pride in the diversity of their hometown. So it's only fitting that the administration and councillors of the City of Edmonton have been early and vocal advocates of the need to attract and retain a talented workforce that is inclusive and truly reflects the diverse nature of the city they serve.
"The different cultures, perspectives and experiences that define our community is something we all very much value," says City Manager Linda Cochrane. "This diversity enriches us and makes us stronger. "
The City works to optimize participation from several target populations, including Indigenous Peoples, newcomers to Canada and people with disabilities. The City is also strongly committed to promoting gender equity and removing systematic barriers that potentially exclude individuals or whole communities from serving as part of the civic workforce - or from being properly served by the City.
Observes Jill Chesley, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant: "We want our citizens to look at our employees and be able to say, 'I am reflected there. Someone there can understand my needs. I could potentially get a job at the City.' If we can't achieve that, then there's a serious disconnect."
The City adopted a comprehensive Diversity & Inclusion Framework and Implementation Plan more than a decade ago. Today, all seven major City departments have their own diversity & inclusion committees, which strive to ensure best practices are followed in everything from financial services to infrastructure.
The City's newest major department, Employee Services, is another innovation. The focus is on the lived experience of employees and expands on the role that Human Resources traditionally played as part of the City's Financial & Corporate Services Department. As a result, employees now have a voice of their own at the executive leadership table.
"Our approach to serving our employees is now more strategic and a bit more elevated," says Cochrane. "This is also allowing us to focus even more clearly on issues of diversity and inclusion."
The City is also accelerating the implementation of Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) across the organization to advance gender equality and remove other forms of inadvertent discrimination.
"GBA+ can be applied in any situation where a decision is made, whether it's about hiring or building a new recreation centre," says Chesley. "It's a process that reminds us to consider diverse perspectives and needs."
Making Edmonton a welcoming place for newcomers is another priority. "I think access for newcomers generally can be difficult, whether it's dealing with a new language, customs or protocols," says Cochrane. "Our multicultural efforts are focused on removing those barriers and helping people navigate the ways of the city."
Edmonton has the second-largest urban concentration of Indigenous people in Canada, after Winnipeg. As part of an effort to remove barriers to meaningful employment, the City's Indigenous Employee Resource Network - led by Indigenous people from across the organization - provides mentoring, coaching and guidance.
In 2014, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson served as an Honorary Witness when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held its final session in the Alberta capital. Since then, the City has fulfilled commitments to educate staff about the impact residential school trauma has had on multiple generations of Indigenous families.
The City has also placed a strong focus on hiring and integrating into the workforce individuals with intellectual disabilities, a group that often has a particularly difficult time securing meaningful employment.
Chesley says that fostering diversity and inclusion simple makes for a more effective workforce. "If employees feel included, respected and safe, they are going to perform better. There's going to be more creativity and innovation and that's going to enhance the services we provide to citizens."
Cochrane echoes that view, adding that diversity and inclusion is a journey that is far from over.
"We know we're not perfect and we've got a long way to go. But we are trying really hard to leverage the rich diversity that exists in this city."