The first ever National Transition Symposium in Canada, organized by Canada Company, will be held Oct. 27 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. This unique event will bring together 200 veterans, 75 companies and hundreds of business and human resource (HR) leaders for a day of learning and business opportunities.
“This is really new for Canada and new for the military. You need help translating what you’ve done, which is pretty incredible for all of our military members in terms of leadership and project management. It’s difficult to understand that what they (military members) do translates, it’s difficult to describe to HR leaders and it’s overwhelming figuring out where to start. This event addresses all of those things in a very practical way from people who have been there done that and are now successful. You can learn and understand how transferable your skills are and what kind roles they are transferable to. You have the opportunity, as a vet, to have firsthand private access to HR leaders who want to help you,” said Angela Mondou President of Canada Company, speaking from her own background as a former military member.
The morning session is exclusively for veterans and military members in transition. The session will include “an exclusive job fair,” featuring 75 companies across Canada. Some of the Employer Partners of Canada Company’s Military Employment Transition Program that can be expected at the fair are Air Canada, Allstate, Bell BMO, GE, Sun Life and Seaspan. The full list of business partners is available online.
The morning session also includes an educational component. Several panels like the “Cool Vets, Cool Transition, feature veterans now successful in their careers in the private sector who will give tips and suggestions on transitioning.
Also, part of the education component are labs led by HR leaders. These labs teach resume writing skills and how to become successful entrepreneurs.
The keynote speaker for the morning session is Brigadier General Lowell Thomas, Commander 4th Canadian Division.
“He’s going to address troops in transition as well as those who are out and just talk to them about why he, as a military leader, believes it’s critical for current military members and soon to be transition members, to have this kind of support on their way out after serving their country. That’s our first meaningful keynote of the day from a really big supporter and wonderful leader,” stated Mondou.
The afternoon session is geared towards the business world to educate and raise awareness. CEOs and presidents of current and potential employer partners will be in the audience. Speakers for the afternoon session include Chief of Defence Staff General Johnathan Vance and several athletes including Michael “Pinball” Clemons.
“I like to have a wide range of speakers. Athletes and Olympians have similar challenges in transitioning. They are taking off a uniform and leaving a brotherhood. They have tremendous insight on what it takes to move through the transition,” said Mondou.
The afternoon session will also feature panels like the “From War Rooms to Board Rooms” panel led by veterans who are senior leaders in companies.
One of Canada Company’s newest initiatives will also be introduced at the Symposium: the MET Spouse program. The program allows spouses to use MET services to find careers they can continue across Canada. The initiative is currently a pilot program.
Mondou brought the idea of the symposium to Canada, mirroring colleagues in the U.S. Mondou says a lot of work has gone into planning the event and spreading the word to veterans.
“We’re thrilled to be doing this. The timing is right. We’ve been at this for two years now. We needed to create the momentum, we needed to have these relationships built with companies across Canada, we needed to build our database of members and vets and we’re there now. The timing is very good to do this,” said Mondou.
Combining all the guests of the day together, Canada Company is throwing a “Hangar Party.” The party will feature a benefit concert, silent auction and vintage planes brought in for the event. Five companies will also be awarded the MET Top Employer Award. The award is presented each year to five companies who have contributed towards hiring veterans and to MET Program’s goal to place 10,000 veterans in jobs by 2023.
To register for the symposium visit www.canadacompany.ca.