CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Rona job becomes a reality

Bharti Kapoor, owner and operator of Rona Ontario Limited, and JobStart, a not for profit employment service organization, have been working together through the MTCU Job Connect youth program for more than a year. They have developed a relationship that has been mutually beneficial.

"At Rona, we want to hire employees that have the energy, drive and capacity to move up from entry level positions," says Dave Hepditch, delivery manager.

Ron Shields has been through a lot over the years dealing with family issues that a 20-year-old ought not to have to deal with. Tired of short-term employment and dead-end jobs, Shields received assistance in his career search from JobStart.

Shields worked with his vocational counselor Tracy Street to ensure what he wanted could become a reality. They put a plan in place, which included meeting with the Job Connect job developer.

"Ron presented himself well, and we agreed that an employer who recognized his strengths and all that he had to offer would be the best match," said Tracey Pinder, a job developer at JobStart.

"We discussed the possibility of working at Rona and the fact that they would not be hiring for a few weeks. Ron was enthusiastic about this opportunity and said he would wait."

First on the list

When Rona's Dave Hepditch called to say he was ready to hire, Ron Shields was the first person on the list. The interview went well and he started a placement in late March in the hardware department picking orders to be shipped from the distribution centre. Once Shields gains more product knowledge he will be given more opportunities and added responsibility.

"The program is great because it saves me time," Hepditch says. "JobStart pre-screens the applicants and sends us suitable candidates -- and the training subsidy is a nice bonus."

To find out more about JobStart and the free services offered to job seekers and employers, visit or call 416-231-2295.

To identify your neighbourhood youth employment centre for hiring made easy at no cost to you, visit

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