Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton, City of was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- 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 cultivates a culture of recognition through a number of awards and initiatives, including the annual City Manager's Award of Excellence, the Charles Labatiuk Award for Environmental Excellence, and awards in a variety of areas including customer service, diversity and inclusion, and innovation (to name a few)
- City of Edmonton offers a generous health spending account as part of its health benefits plan, up to $1,100 per year, allowing employees to top up coverage according to their personal needs
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton, City of was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- 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 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 -- the 30-month rotational program for new graduates includes 12 months working in financial services, 12 months with financial strategies and budget, and 6 months working in the Office of the City Auditor
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 1, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton, City of was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (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 takes place at the City's transit garages and offers candidates opportunities to work as bus cleaners
- The City also offers employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual disabilities through the Abilities@Work Program
- City of Edmonton created an online toolkit to provide assistance to new Canadian job-seekers and participated in a pilot mentorship program organized by the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council
City of Edmonton workers mirror their city's diversity
Nicole Plachy felt unfulfilled in her office job. She had her sights on a more challenging career. But there was a problem -- it was in a field still dominated by men. "I wanted to work with my hands, I wanted to see the results of my efforts," says Plachy, now an Apprentice Welder with the City of Edmonton.
Her path to job -- and career -- satisfaction came, as it turned out, through a City of Edmonton outreach program designed to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. First, Plachy quit her job and signed up for a 16-week training program with Women Building Futures (WBF), a not-for-profit that provides women with training in various trades. In Plachy's case, it was welding.
Through WBF, Plachy landed work experience with the City, one of the organization's founding sponsors and an ongoing supporter. She performed so well on the job that she was hired as a seasonal worker.
Her fellow workers were supportive and provided helpful advice. "Everyone was terrific," she says. "Most employers don't appreciate women in the trades. Not the City of Edmonton. I got really lucky . . . seriously lucky."
When Plachy applied for a permanent apprentice welder position in the City's fabrication shop, she won the competition. Now, she is about to receive her welder's certification, the end of a three-year academic program that the City supported financially and in other ways. "I got all my tuition, I always got the time off I needed for my studies or for any family situation," she says. "The City wants you to succeed, to become the best you can be, so they do their best to accommodate you."
WBF is one of several community organizations linked to the City's diversity and inclusion initiative. "To create a diverse workforce, we understand the importance of collaborating with post-secondary institutions and external organizations like WBF," says Aly Moorji, the City's Human Resources Manager for Diversity and Inclusion. "To provide the best municipal programs and services, our workforce must reflect the city's demographics. By building relationships throughout our community, by collaborating, we can develop programs that make an impact."
Meanwhile, the City conducts an employee engagement and diversity survey every two years to measure the demographics of its workforce. "The findings are positive," Moorji says. "This diversity within our workforce helps better serve the people of Edmonton."
Among them are Indigenous people, nearly five per cent of both the city's workforce and its population and the second-largest urban concentration after Winnipeg. All City workers now must undergo Indigenous awareness training where participants hear the lived experiences of an Indigenous speaker, participate in a facilitated discussion and hands-on activity, and leave with a greater understanding of Canada's residential school system. "It's an eye-opener for some of our staff," says Moorji. "Not only do they become more aware of the injustices, but hearing about it directly in person has a tremendous impact and is a big step toward overall reconciliation."
Another of the City's programs that highlights collaboration with the community is The Abilities@Work Program, which provides meaningful employment for people with intellectual disabilities. By bringing such individuals into the workplace, fellow employees enhance their understanding of mental-health challenges.
Says Moorji: "When people have a greater understanding of differences, they work more effectively together. In order to create high-performing teams, you have to include, value and leverage this diversity. We continue to make inclusion a priority."
For her part, Plachy is so happy that she has moved out of the office onto the shop floor -- and with how she has been accepted on the basis of her work alone -- that she has no plans to switch employers. "I want to live out my career here," she says, "and impart what I have learned to others."