July 20, 2023

We are pleased to announce that the Achēv Mississauga location has been selected to be a part of the Ontario government’s Investing in Women’s Futures program. The Ontario government is expanding the program through funding for Achēv’s new RISE program. RISE, which stands for Resilience, Independence, Support, and Empower, is a program open to all women & self-identifying women individuals based in the Peel & Halton region facing abuse and gender-based violence.

We’ll provide employment readiness programming, including digital literacy and workplace intercultural training, financial workshops, networking, mentorship, and one-on-one coaching, to survivors of gender-based violence. We’ll also offer wraparound supports, including counselling, safety planning, and legal rights workshops.

The program will focus on preventative measures as well as helping women access resources and information that will help them feel safe and ultimately become economically empowered and develop a strong sense of well-being.

“Achēv is grateful for this investment which allows us to better serve women facing barriers in a safe, inclusive, and empowering environment,” said Tonie Chaltas, Chief Executive Officer, Achēv.

The expansion of the Investing in Women’s Futures program to 10 additional locations is part of a $6.9 million investment over three years to enhance the program and create more economic opportunities for women. It will also help more women experiencing social and economic barriers connect to supports and develop the skills they need to gain financial security and independence. Read more here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1003285/ontario-helping-more-women-in-mississauga-build-skills-and-get-jobs

Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant
May 30, 2023

Mississauga, ON – In May 2022, Achēv received a $149,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to support their efforts to create an accessible, user-friendly digital library of resources to support staff, clients and the community. The project will be completed in May 2023 and will support the organization’s digital transformation journey and countless clients for years to come.

“I am thrilled with the announcement that Achēv, a cornerstone organization in my riding of Mississauga Centre is benefitting from a $149,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant. The grant has been used to help Achēv enhance their technological capacity with an increased emphasis on digitizing services. This will increase accessibility and efficiency and, in turn, better serve vulnerable residents in both Mississauga Centre and beyond,” said Natalia Kusendova-Bashta, MPP for Mississauga Centre.

Achēv used the grant to research options and develop a digital asset management system (online library), AchēvShare, to consolidate and share a wealth of client service resources and make them accessible to more clients and staff. “Making our company-developed resources available to all our staff and clients is critical. This OTF-funded project has enabled us to create a customized digital library consolidating a wealth of resources on topics such as job search tips, language learning, and more. All in formats that address needs on an immediate basis,” said CEO Tonie Chaltas.

OTF has also provided Achēv with a $37,300 Capital Grant to purchase 10 Smart Boards and accessories. Smart Boards will allow Achēv to provide interactive in-person, hybrid and virtual services to their clients. The touchscreen feature aligned with easy sync to staff’s laptop content results in dynamic events, sessions, classes, workshops, meetings etc. The new technology was received by staff with excitement: “Great! Yes, very excited! I have been suggesting it for some time. I use them for teaching and love the experience.”

Achēv aims to change people’s lives as they discover their potential and achieve their purpose. It is one of the largest non-profit providers of employment, youth, settlement, women and language services in the Greater Toronto Area, serving over 100,000 clients in 2022. Since the pandemic, the organization has quickly adapted tools and processes to provide more online services in record time, providing essential community supports to job seekers, women, newcomers and youth. Further information can be found at www.achev.ca.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

May 10, 2023

Achēv celebrated its inaugural Achēvment Awards at a community breakfast this morning in Mississauga. 

The first of its kind in Peel, the Achēvment Awards are designed to recognize those individuals and organizations that excel in fostering diversity in the workplace, promote cross-sector collaboration, and have the courage to fulfill dreams.  

“Today we are celebrating the power of collaboration between our partners, clients, and the communities we serve,” said Achēv CEO Tonie Chaltas. “We hope our Achēvment Awards recipients will inspire other businesses, organizations, and individuals to work together to help Canada prosper.”

Achēv’s inaugural Achēvment Awards recipients are:  

  • Maple Lodge Farms, an Achēv employer partner, who is being honoured for its innovative and inclusive approach to employing newcomers and breaking down barriers to employment. 
  • Catholic Crosscultural Services, a longstanding and trusted community partner, who is being celebrated for its shared passion and commitment to serving Achēv’s clients.   
  • Samantha Palloo, an Achēv client, who is being recognized for her determination and courage in building the human resources career she dreamed of in Canada.    

Click here for the videos of the awards granted. 

As one of the largest providers of employment, language, newcomer, youth, women’s, and inclusion services, Achēv occupies a unique place in the communities it serves. By leveraging its scope and scale and its long-standing partnerships in the community, Achēv offers clients the services they need, when and where they need them.   

Achēv’s team of over 400 dedicated staff works with each client to understand their unique goals and needs. “Achēv is proud of the work we do, online and in-person at our nine locations across the GTA, to help over 100,000 people each year achieve their goals,” said Ms. Chaltas. 

Achēv is one of the largest providers of employment, newcomer, language, youth, women’s and inclusion services in the Greater Toronto Area. Last year, we served over 100,000 clients and 3,600 employer partners at our nine locations. Our dedicated team of nearly 400 staff, delivers a wide range of personalized programs and services that empower our clients to prosper and our communities to thrive. Learn about our impact at Achēv.ca 

diverse group of women
March 9, 2023

We’re excited to share that Achēv has been featured in the Mississauga News as part of their International Women’s Day special issue. The article highlights our client success stories from our Workforce Pathways for Women in Senior Care and Career Pathways for Women programs. Achēv CEO Tonie Chaltas also discussed our continued commitment to helping women and girls achieve their potential.

Download or view a copy of the article here: https://achev.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Mississauga_NewsWomens-Day.pdf

Achēv women’s services pillar empowers our team to be more intentional about how we are helping women identify and access the employment, language, newcomer, youth and other services they need. Click here for a list of all women-specific programs Achēv offers: https://achev.ca/services/women-services/

National Post article
December 14, 2022

Broadening and extending women’s workforce participation, particularly for newcomer and racialized women, is critical to addressing our current and future labour shortages. Read our National Post feature on how Achēv’s women services give newcomer women the boost they need to succeed and secure successful pathways here.

Download or view a copy of the article here.

Mississauga news story
November 18, 2022

We’re excited to share that Achēv has been featured in the Mississauga News! The article covers the launch of our women’s services pillar and discusses how we are helping immigrant and racialized women develop skills and find better and more meaningful jobs.  

Achēv’s women’s pillar empowers our team to be more intentional about how we are helping women identify and access the employment, language, newcomer, youth and other services they need. To read the full article in the Mississauga News, click here. Learn more about our Women’s Services here.

November 9, 2022

Achēv, one of the largest providers of employment, newcomer, language, and youth services in the Greater Toronto Area, launches a new service offering dedicated to women who face unique barriers in securing employment, settling in a new community, and building the networks they need to thrive. Achēv is committed to increasing its support to this integral segment of our society. 

“We support women across the continuum of their lives, from first jobs and settlement to skills development and charting career paths,” said Achēv CEO Tonie Chaltas. “Achēv’s dedicated Women’s Pillar will allow us to provide more targeted support to the more than 50,000 women and girls who access our employment, language, and newcomer services each year.” 

Canadian businesses must diversify their workforce to remain competitive and meet 21st-century labour demands. But women, particularly newcomer and racialized women, face barriers to full-time, meaningful employment. It takes immigrant and racialized women longer to integrate into the labour market than men. They also earn less median income in a year compared to Canadian-born and non-racialized women. 

“We are increasing our work with employers to build pathways to employment and help set women up for success in the workplace,” explained Ms. Chaltas. “Broadening and extending women’s workforce participation, particularly for newcomer and racialized women, is critical to addressing our current and future labour shortages.” 

“I know firsthand some of the challenges that women in the workplace face, especially if they are a newcomer or a woman of colour,” said Jessica Luh Kim, a consultant at Seasons Retirement Communities. “Seasons Retirement Communities is proud of the work we do with Achēv to empower women in the workplace.” 

Achēv is actively seeking opportunities to expand our women’s program offering and to collaborate with employers and partner organizations. Learn more about Achēv’s women’s services at https://achev.ca/services/women-services/  

Readers choice awards graphic
November 3, 2022

We are pleased to announce that Achēv has been named the Diamond Winner of the 2022 Mississauga News Readers’ Choice Awards in the Best Non-Profit/Foundations and Best Employment Agency categories! The Diamond Award is the highest-ranked category, followed by Platinum and Gold.  

Every year, the Mississauga News holds the Readers’ Choice Awards to recognize local organizations for their achievements. Thousands of people from the community are encouraged to nominate and vote for their favourite businesses and/or professionals in Mississauga. The Mississauga News Readers’ Choice Awards is one of the most respected and reputable consumer awards in Mississauga. Achēv’s win in two categories is indicative of our dedication to our clients, commitment to making a positive difference in the diverse communities we serve, and an acknowledgment of our achievements throughout the year. 

Our win this year would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our staff, partners and clients!  

September 28, 2022

We are excited to announce Achev’s new Board of Directors and Non-Director Committee and extend a warm welcome to all new members joining this year. Their expertise, advice, and diverse perspectives will help in shaping Achēv’s Vision 2025 strategic plan and put a renewed focus on our clients and future growth opportunities.

Please meet our new Board and Non-Director Committee members:

Board of Directors

Marlon Blake, MBA, CPA, FCCA
Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee

Marlon Blake

Marlon has over 15 years of experience working in senior level leadership roles in financial services, not-for-profit and consulting industries. He is currently the CEO of Optimal Growth Financial, responsible for crafting the strategic direction and long-term vision of its start-up investment fund.  Before that, Marlon was the Director, Finance at ICES, where he provided financial and operational leadership, accounting expertise and guidance to the organization. He was also the Director of Finance at ACT, where he provided strategic leadership and vision for the financial functions of the organization. In addition, he worked in senior roles at Optimal Growth Consulting, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, and the Government of Bermuda.

Marlon has strong leadership experience in financial reporting, strategic planning, analytics, risk management, process automation, governance, project management, mentoring and coaching people.

Marlon holds a Master of Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University, CPA, CGA designation from CPA Ontario, and he is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant.

Ruth Woods
Vice-Chair of the Human Resources & Compensation Committee

Ruth Woods has more than 35 years executive experience in professional services management, investment banking and consulting. She has held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she was responsible for Finance, IT, HR, Facilities and Administration. Prior to Osler she was a founding partner of Hugessen Consulting Inc, Senior Vice President; Global Head of Human Resources at Scotia Capital; and a Founding Director of Women in Capital Markets.

Ruth is currently on the board of Scarborough Health Network and has served on the Bishop Strachan School and Royal St. George’s College Boards of Governors as Vice-Chair and Chair respectively, and on the board of Kinross Gold Corp.

Ruth graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Business Administration, and from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics.

Non-Director Committee Members

Akshat Jhaveri
Non-Director Member of the Strategic & Risk Management Committee 

Akshat Jhaveri (AJ) has over 18 years of experience in serving Fortune 500 clients as a trusted advisor for their critical Business and Technology initiatives. AJ is currently a Director at Accenture where he focuses on partnering with Crown corporations in helping them realize their vision to modernize the way they do their business and serve their communities better. He does so by advising them on critical components that drive success for such a vision like Target operating models, Data and Analytics strategy, Change Management and Technology Transformation. He also partners with them in execution of that strategy enabled through robust governance and controls.

Before Accenture, AJ was with Cognizant where he served as the lead Partner for one of the largest Global Financial services serving them in their technology and operations transformation journey across various Insurance, Group Benefits and Wealth/Asset management. Prior to that, he has spent years as a management consultant in advising some of the Top Financial services companies to improve their business results as well as customer and community relations.

Through the years, AJ has been involved in several fundraising initiatives that support causes related to ending Hunger, Blood Donation, Breast Cancer research and participating in initiatives aimed at supporting youth in receiving support needed to be successful.

Megan has her undergraduate degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University and her Masters in Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management from Queens University and holds an advanced certificate in trust management.

AJ holds a MSc in Software Engineering from a Top Engineering university in India.

Darrell Pinto, MBA
Non-Director Member of the Governance & Nominating Committee

Darrell Pinto is a senior executive who has honed his strategic consulting and people-focused leadership in Toronto, New York, London and Shanghai at companies spanning private and public financial markets, pharmaceuticals, media and non-profits. He thrives in situations where he can combine solving big problems through design thinking. Through his commitment to volunteerism and community building he believes that we are all stronger if we can find ways to help each other be our best. He co-chairs along with Senator Ratna Omidvar the national Refugee Jobs Agenda Roundtable, a working coalition of 100 Canadian organizations collaborating to find meaningful jobs for refugees. He is also host of a national talk show on New Canadians TV.

In his spare time, his adventurous streak has driven him to hike to Mount Everest base camp, cage dive with Great White sharks, plant 50,000 trees, teach improv, and work on an alpaca farm.

Darrell earned an undergraduate degree in Philosophy/History from the Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.

Leo Gomes, LL.M, MBA, CFE
Non-Director Member of the Finance & Audit Committee

Leo Gomes is a trusted advisor who has been involved in the business advisory, internal audit, and risk management areas for close to 20 years. With solid international and multi-cultural work experience, Leo held leadership roles at different organizations and industries, such as lead National Oil & Gas in Qatar, and Fortune 500 Energy & Utility company in North America and Caribbean, most recently Capital Infrastructure and Transit Development Government company in Canada. Leo serves as Board Vice-Chair for Re-Imagine Ontario in the non-profit sector.

Leo holds Master of Laws from York University – Osgoode Hall Law School, and Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Bellevue University. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Catholic University of Minas Gerais – Brazil. He is a Member of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

We also want to congratulate and welcome Epsit Jajal as the new Chair of the Board.

Epsit Jajal brings 25+ years of senior leadership experience from a range of diverse industries including banking, consulting services, insurance, mining, construction, telecom, high tech, retail, software, energy, and various levels of the public sector.  Mr. Jajal specializes in implementing organizational transformation initiatives designed to dramatically improve organizational profitability and enterprise value by leveraging innovative and strategically important digital solutions.  His areas of expertise include leading global teams responsible for digital strategy, technology services, finance, professional services, and business operations.

Combined with his globally recognized academic credentials in business (MBA from Western University’s Ivey School of Business), finance (CPA, CMA) and outsourcing certification (University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business), Mr. Jajal provides insightful perspectives to Achēv that help the management team continuously enhance its operational effectiveness and positive impacts on clients.

Under this evolving leadership, we will continue to position Achēv as a sustainable, inclusive and client-focused organization that successfully delivers youth, employment, newcomer and language services across the GTA.

Achēv’s CEO Tonie Chaltas and senior leadership team look forward to working together with all Board of Directors and the Non-Director Committee members over the next term.

As we welcome our new members, we’d also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our outgoing members: Lawrence Eta and Aneesa Mohammed. Thank you for your dedication and contributions in our work.

Thank you to all who serve on the board. We can’t wait to see how our highly experienced board members will further our vision of helping people discover their potential and achieve their purpose.

To view all of Achēv’s Board Member profiles, visit our Meet The Board page.

September 19, 2022

We are excited to share that Achēv has been featured on the September 15 edition of the Toronto Star as part of the “Supporting Canada’s Newcomers and Refugees” campaign. As a hub of newcomer services, we discussed how we make sure that our clients are primed and ready to apply for jobs by providing them with the support they need to successfully transition into their new lives. The article also explains how newcomers get one-on-one settlement and career support at Achēv and can also improve their English and French skills through language assessments, our online language classes and class referrals.

Here is the full Toronto Star campaign with our article: http://project.mediaplanet.com/26422.pdf

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