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Propeller Project

Within our two funding streams; Uplift and Nest, we support organizations and projects working in local neighborhoods to create stronger, healthier and happier communities.

Nest Fund – 2020 funding announcement

Toronto Pearson is the world’s gateway to Canada, and we constantly think about the stories and experiences of everyone who passes through our doors—the travelers, our brave frontline workers, our partners and members of the community.

We believe that if there is one place that should be a true reflection of diversity and inclusion, it must be an airport. Our business, after all, is to connect people and cultures from all over the world; this is the essence of who we are at Toronto Pearson.

In June of 2020, the GTAA joined the voices condemning anti-Black racism, systemic racism, inequality and injustices in all shapes and forms that impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and promised to take a more active role in the community. Together with our Board of Directors, we are committed to continuing the journey to ensure that principles and practices that drive diversity and inclusion are present in every corner of our business.

Our corporate Diversity and Inclusion program includes an overarching strategy with a broad outlook on the inclusion of many underrepresented groups within our society. To build on our commitments, we signed on to the Black North Initiative CEO Pledge in July 2020, along with other leading organizations in Canada, as a show of our commitment to help alleviate racial, ethnic and other tensions and to promote the elimination of anti-Black systemic racism wherever it exists.

After a call for proposals in late 2020, we are pleased to announce our 2020 Nest funding recipients. Each of these organizations has its own unique area of concentration, but collectively their activities contribute to the ultimate goal of helping to build better futures for those impacted by systemic racism.

  • The Black Youth School Success Initiative is a prevention and intervention school support program that supports Black children and youth from grade 6 through high school.
  • Canadian Roots Exchange is a national, youth-led, charitable organization that supports and facilitates programs that focus on increasing the resilience of Indigenous youth to navigate changing landscapes and barriers while advocating for better outcomes for their communities.
  • Eshkiniigjik Naandwechigegamig, Aabiish Gaa Binjibaaying (ENAGB) provides mental, emotional, physical and spiritual programming and services to Indigenous youth ages 12-29 years.
  • Help a Girl Out works to ensure all women have access to sanitary products regardless of circumstance and initiates year-round anti-stigma campaigns and educational workshops to end menstrual shame among women and girls in Canada.
  • Helping Hands Platform is a grassroots organization led by Black youth that matches Black, newcomer and low socioeconomic status youth with volunteer, educational, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.
  • Trust 15 Youth Community Support Organization provides youth in the Rexdale/North Etobicoke area with programs that promote and facilitate positive behaviour, creative expression, and cooperative working skills.
  • Weston Frontlines Centre is a dynamic youth charity in York-South Weston that provides culturally relevant and inclusive programming –from homework/tutoring programs and camps to pop-up events and employment programs—to children and youth aged 6-29.

Uplift Fund

We have committed $1 million in funding for programs aimed at addressing underemployment.

In recent years, Canadian governments have worked to make Canada’s skilled labour pool more competitive to support economic growth. Ensuring their skills are effectively utilized and allocated by employers is imperative to our country’s future prosperity. When a person is employed below their individual level of skill, professional experience and/or education, the economy is at risk of misusing valuable resources. These instances of labour misallocation represent examples of “underemployment.”

Underemployment is a critical social issue that is often not well understood. Those facing underemployment can come from a diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances, from newcomers to Canada whose credentials may not be recognized, to young adults with post-secondary education who are lacking professional networks and opportunities to break into their sector. Underemployment impacts many people living in our region and is a barrier to shared economic prosperity.

As a major employer in the region, we are well positioned to be a champion in addressing the issue of underemployment by building partnerships with employers, community non-profit organizations and research, academic and labour groups to find regional solutions. To help us achieve this vision, we have committed $1 million to tackle the issue of underemployment across Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga.

We have collaborated with Deloitte on a whitepaper to explore the causes and consequences of underemployment in Canada.

Uncovering underemployment whitepaper

The paper was commissioned to proactively generate ideas for policy and programs and help focus strategic priorities for Toronto Pearson’s community investment program in 2019. The findings of the whitepaper helped set stronger guidelines and clear funding priorities for the Propeller Project during our call for proposals for the Uplift Fund. In December of 2019, we invited organizations to submit expressions of interest for projects that will accomplish one or more of these five goals:

  1. Facilitate engagement, collaboration and interventions with employers to develop programs that integrate workers and maximize the use of their skills to generate benefits for both groups.
  2. Enhance wraparound support services and in-demand skills training in employment programs to ensure that people successfully integrate into the labour market.
  3. Conduct new research and track local underemployment to better understand the scope and scale of the problem, barriers, target populations as well as opportunities for improvement and impacts.
  4. Implement initiatives to achieve sustainable employment outcomes with individuals or groups experiencing underemployment, matching their talent with job requirements and helping them advance in their career paths.
  5. Develop strategies to educate and/or advocate for policies and programs to tackle underemployment together with policy makers, elected officials, private institutions, labour groups or post-secondary institutions.

The Uplift Fund is currently not accepting applications.

General guides for Propeller Project partners

  • Organizations must be a registered non-profit within Canada.
  • Organization must be willing to provide audited financial statements upon request.
  • Priority and preference will be given to projects and initiatives that have a positive impact in neighbourhoods surrounding Toronto Pearson (Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton).

We regret that we cannot support:

  • Organizations that are not a registered non-profit.
  • Projects operating outside of Canada.
  • Applications from individuals.
  • Professional associations/events.
  • Private clubs funded through membership fees.
  • Competitive sports teams.
  • Religious organizations or any religiously affiliated groups.
  • Political organizations and/or candidates.

Toronto Pearson workforce development

The Propeller Project is also working with community partners to support initiatives and projects that seek to directly engage or involve workers employed at Toronto Pearson to support them in career development, training, job placement, employment counselling services. To learn more about our first ever airport workforce survey, see our Workforce Survey page.

We are leveraging our partnerships with community organizations and employment service agencies to provide support for Airport workers impacted by COVID-19. Learn more.

Contact us

For questions about Toronto Pearson Community Investment and the Propeller Project, please contact propeller.project@gtaa.com.

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