Agnes’ mom is happy, and that’s good enough for us
It wasn’t until Agnes Cruz was able to bring her mom to Canada from the Philippines for a visit that the elderly woman was finally at peace that her youngest daughter had done the right thing coming to Canada four years ago.
She got to see her daughter’s home in the Maples, bought with an ACU mortgage. She got to tour the co-op that gave her daughter her first full-time job in Canada. And she got to meet some of Agnes’ work friends who helped her celebrate her 80th birthday on Canadian soil.
“My mom does not have to worry about me anymore, now that she sees it for herself. She did not have that confidence that I was really okay here. But she has peace of mind now. She knows that I am in a good place,” says Agnes, an ACU Financial Service Representative at the St. James Branch.
Two months after landing in Canada, Agnes heard about a special program ACU helped create that trains immigrants to work in credit unions. With 17 years of experience in the financial services sector in the Philippines, Agnes applied and was one of nine students accepted from nearly 100 applicants for the Immigrant Integration Program.
Agnes started with a five-week training program to upgrade her knowledge of Canadian culture, business language, credit union financial systems and the entry-level job duties of a Member Service Representative. She graduated to a three-month, paid, on-the-job practicum at ACU. Upon completion she was offered a part-time job at ACU that quickly became full time, and twice since then, Agnes has been promoted. “For me the program gave me an opportunity to establish myself here. Moving to a different country is hard. I feel lucky because not all of the immigrants I know have been able to work in their chosen field.”
The Immigrant Integration Program is co-sponsored by ACU, Cambrian and Steinbach credit unions in partnership with Manitoba Labour and Immigration and Employment Projects of Winnipeg. Over the years ACU has hired nearly 40 new immigrants through the program.
For ACU Employment Specialist, Mandy Rogasky, the program is a fine example of ACU’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. “Diversity is ingrained in our culture,” she says. “We benefit from the qualifications and expertise of immigrants like Agnes.”
Agnes’ mom plans to visit again in 2012, but this time in the summer.