CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Designing a productive future

Diana Chapa, a newcomer to Canada and a sole-support parent, came to Completing The Circle (CTC) hoping to secure a position in the field of graphic design.

Although Chapa had the requisite university education and work experience in her native country, she was struggling to find work in Toronto. Most employers she approached told Diana that she needed Canadian work experience before she would be considered as a candidate.

Chapa grew very concerned that she might not be able to find any work to support herself and her daughter. Participating in the pre-employment workshops at CTC, where she received individual support and training to develop her self-marketing abilities,

Chapa soon began to attract more interest from employers.

Unfortunately, in each case, they were not able to see past the "no Canadian experience" obstacle. They were unwilling to take advantage of the expertise and positive attitude she would bring to their organization.

That all changed one day when Pina Trimarchi, employment advisor at CTC, received a call from Lorraine Bossier of AVW-TELAV. Having previously established an effective relationship with the audio visual solutions company by connecting them with young, skilled and motivated workers, Trimarchi was informed of the need to fill a two-month contract position for an administrative assistant "ASAP."

Trimarchi introduced Chapa to Bossier. Although the position was not directly in her field of expertise, Chapa was eager to acquire any Canadian experience.

The interview was successful and Chapa was subsequently hired for the position. And Chapa proved to be a valuable asset, demonstrating expertise in a variety of areas. She was so valuable that her contact was extended twice.

Unfortunately, there was not a permanent position available for Chapa; however, a AVW-TELAV co-worker recognized Diana's potential and thought she would be an ideal candidate for an administration position that had recently become available for a client company.

To Diana's delight, the responsibilities of this position also had a graphic design component.

Diana's willingness to be flexible with respect to her employment objectives paid off in the end. And her employer's willingness to recognize her experience and expertise lead to this success story.

For more information about Completing The Circle, call 416-243-0066 or visit " To identify your neighbourhood youth employment centre for hiring made easy at no cost to you, visit

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