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the list

Shanel Thomas, a receptionist at CH2M Hill Canada Ltd., an engineering firm in Toronto, says the MicroSkills program gave her an opportunity when she needed it.:Ëa

How they were chosen

In today's competitive labour market, new Canadian job seekers without Canadian experience or recognized credentials face increasing difficulty. The 2012 winners of Canada's Best Employers for New Canadians have reached out to support newcomers in practical and welcoming ways.

The editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers at Mediacorp have expanded their criteria for selecting winners. Companies were judged by their efforts in the following initiatives: recruiting recent immigrants by partnering with community organizations, posting job vacancies with multicultural media or hosting a dedicated Web page; providing employment through internship and co-op placements; helping international professionals to get their foreign credentials recognized or upgraded; mentoring initiatives; ESL/FSL language and other business training for newcomers; and training to help recruiters, managers and co-workers better understand cross-cultural issues or inclusiveness.

The Best Employers for New Canadians competition is a partnership between the Canada's Top 100 Employers project and ALLIES, a joint initiative of the Maytree Foundation and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

The firms

AltaGas Ltd., Calgary. Natural gas distribution; 540 employees. Participates in the Work Links program organized by Immigrant Services Calgary.

BC Hydro, Vancouver. Hydroelectric power generation, 5,911 employees. Advertises vacancies in multicultural media.

Bank of Montreal (BMO), Toronto. Banking; 29,605 employees. Participates in ACCES Employment's Speed Mentoring program.

Bombardier Aerospace, Dorval, Que. Aircraft manufacturing; 17,222 employees. Recruiters participate in training sessions on inclusive recruitment strategies and interview techniques.

Business Development Bank of Canada, Montreal. Banking; 1,834 employees. Helped create the Ethno Business Council of British Columbia to support and celebrate new Canadian entrepreneurs.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Toronto. Banking; 33,489 employees. Offers information sessions to new Canadians, which includes tips for résumé writing, interview skills and employment at CIBC.

CH2M Hill Canada Ltd., Toronto. Environmental consulting services; 1,098 employees. Employees volunteer to teach ESL classes and workshops on the Canadian workplace at the Employment Resource Centre at MicroSkills Toronto.

COM DEV International Ltd., Cambridge, Ont. Aeronautical system and instrument manufacturing; 1,074 employees. Partners with Focus for Ethnic Women, a not-for-profit agency.

Deloitte & Touche LLP, Toronto. Certified public accountants; 7,922 employees. Is a national partner of Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies (ALLIES).

Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), Calgary. Regulation of electric, gas and other utilities; 874 employees. Participates in employment information sessions organized by Immigrant Services Calgary.

Ernst & Young LLP, Toronto. Certified public accountants; 4,161 employees. Supports York University's Internationally Educated Professionals bridging program.

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Toronto. Lawyers; 1,232 employees. Created an in-house, six-month paid internship program for internationally trained lawyers to help them gain work experience.

Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Toronto. Schools; 1,303 employees. Forwards vacancies to multicultural media such as Charity Village, Sing Tao and India Journal.

KPMG LLP, Toronto. Certified public accountants; 5,413 employees. Manages an "International Club" for employees who are international hires.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets; 30,472 employees. Works with ISIS and MicroSkills to match vacancies with résumés of new Canadian job-seekers.

Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg. Hydroelectric power generation; 5,959 employees. Participates in the University of Manitoba's Internationally Educated Engineers Qualifications Program.

McGill University Health Centre, Montreal. Colleges and universities; 11,500 employees. This non-profit hires newcomers with foreign credentials at temporary junior-level positions while they pursue credential equivalencies.

Medtronic of Canada Ltd., Brampton. Medical apparatus manufacturing; 474 employees. Employees new to the country are paired with another who has a similar cultural background.

City of Mississauga, Ontario. Legislative bodies; 3,909 employees. Supports Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council's (TRIEC) Mentoring Partnership program.

Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. General medical and surgical hospitals; 2,295 employees. Recently launched a formal employment strategy for internationally educated professionals.

NTT Data Canada Inc., Halifax. Computer systems design services; 565 employees. Provides partially paid work terms for up to six weeks for unemployed new Canadians.

New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, Winnipeg. Heavy-duty truck manufacturing; 1,283 employees. Subsidizes the costs of assessment fees for professional accreditation.

Nordion Inc., Ottawa. Electromedical apparatus manufacturing; 502 employees. Recognizes foreign credentials and experience and has them evaluated by World Evaluation Services, a third-party credential assessor.

Ontario Public Service, Toronto. Government support; 65,423 employees. Provides managers with guidelines on creating barrier-free employment advertisements.

Pitney Bowes of Canada Ltd., Mississauga. Office equipment merchant wholesalers; 1,625 employees. Worked with TRIEC to ensure language in job descriptions does not discourage new Canadians from applying.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Toronto. Certified public accountants; 6,255 employees. Piloted a soft-skills seminar in partnership with JVS and ACCES Employment.

Providence Health Care, Vancouver. General medical and surgical hospitals; 3,412 employees. Manages a dedicated Web page to offer resources to employees who are new to Canada.

Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver. General medical and surgical hospitals; 7,181 employees. Conducted focus groups with nurses who are new to Canada to improve the program for future hires.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto. Banking; 53,100 employees. Participates in language training programs including the "Talk English Café" e-learning initiative.

Saskatoon Health Region, Saskatoon. General medical and surgical hospitals; 6,239 employees. Provides extensive support to international hires, from settlement information to formal documentation and licensure.

SaskPower, Regina. Hydroelectric power generation; 2,768 employees. Forwards vacancies to local community organizations including Moose Jaw and Saskatoon Multicultural Councils.

St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. General medical and surgical hospitals; 3,710 employees. Developed an Internationally Educated Professionals Transition and Integration Program, funded by the Government of Ontario and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto. Banking; 41,360 employees. Works with a range of community organizations including Equitek, Career Bridge, MicroSkills, COSTI and Skills for Change.

Telus Corp., Vancouver. Telecommunications carriers; 23,400 employees. Sponsors international candidates in securing work permits and covers the costs of relocation.

Tetra Tech WEI Inc., Winnipeg. Engineering services; 972 employees. Participated in conferences and workshops to discuss issues and strategies for the integration and employment of new Canadians.

TransCanada Corp., Calgary. Natural gas distribution; 2,487 employees. Hires newcomers with foreign engineering credentials at the technologist level, moving them to engineering classification after they receive accreditation.

University of Ottawa. Colleges and universities; 2,900 employees. Launched "Access UOttawa" in partnership with Hire Immigrants Ottawa.

City of Vancouver. Legislative bodies; 6,858 employees. Publishes a guide for newcomers, including a list of city services and resources for immigrants, available in multiple languages.

Xerox Canada Inc., Toronto. Computer manufacturing; 3,606 employees. Provides paid internships to newcomers through the Career Bridge program.

York, Regional Municipality of, Newmarket, Ont. Legislative bodies; 2,636 employees. Created York Region Immigration Portal, a website to provide resources, such as settlement and employment information, to newcomers.

An earlier online version of this article implied ALLIES received funding from Deloitte and Touche. Deloitte and Touche are national Partners with ALLIES. Also, an earlier version of this article listed an incorrect number of staff at the McGill University Health Centre, which has 11,500 employees.