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    Info para ingenieros sobre un programa para integrar ingenieros al campo laboral en Canada.

    Foreign engineers get $2M in aid
    Program to ease transition to the Canadian job market

    `We need their skills, education and experience’: Minister

    PETER EDWARDS
    STAFF REPORTER

    Roberto Floh laughs when he recalls the tough times he faced upon moving to Canada from Chile a quarter-century ago.

    Floh, then a father of two preschool children, was unable to find work in the chemical engineering profession and ended up supporting his family by working nights cleaning a slaughterhouse.

    Now, one of his children has a degree in medicine and the other an MBA.

    Yesterday, Floh, 59, was praised by Mary Anne Chambers, Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities, for his leadership and commitment in helping other foreign-trained engineers find work in their fields in Canada.

    «It’s a very good feeling,» Floh said yesterday, after Chambers unveiled a $2 million program to help make the transition to the Canadian job market easier for other engineers who received their training outside Canada. She made the announcement at a meeting of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, a coalition of business, government, community and labour groups advocating a new role and financial deal for cities.

    Chambers said foreign-trained professionals like Floh are essential to helping Canada compete globally. «In today’s competitive economy, we need their skills, education and experience,» she said.

    The alliance also announced the development of a new website, http://www.torontoalliance.ca, to stimulate ideas and communicate information.

    The engineering initiative provides mentoring and coaching for internationally trained professionals, and includes the Ontario Portal for International Engineering Graduates, an interactive web-based tool that can be accessed overseas and provides information about what it takes to be licensed professionally in Canada.

    The government estimates that some 10,000 internationally trained engineers will access the portal each year.

    «They will make it a lot more focused,» said Floh, who now runs Arch Industrial Products Inc. in Thornhill and is a volunteer on the experience review committee for the Professional Engineers of Ontario.

    In other announcements yesterday, Dr. John Evans, chair of Torstar Corp., which owns the Toronto Star, and of MaRS Discovery District, said an effort is under way to pull together research-focused universities, colleges, hospitals and industries across the Golden Horseshoe to make the district a world centre for research and industry.

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