“As a result of collective effort from the CTS Communications Team, People and Culture team and the Senior Leaders CTS demonstrated a consistent increase over the past five years of new hire apprentices from underrepresented groups, which allowed these individuals to secure a livelihood for themselves, provide for their families and to have a career that they enjoy.” Monique Gordon, People & Culture Services Manager and Business Partner, Crosslinx Transit Solutions - Constructors
Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) is a design and construction consortium established to deliver and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. The consortium is comprised of four global and local leaders in transportation infrastructure: ACS-Dragados, Aecon, EllisDon and SNC Lavalin. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will run across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station.
Crosslinx Transit Solutions is the first Contractor of a large-scale infrastructure project in Ontario to be signatory to a Community Benefits Program with commitments related to employment (apprenticeship, journey person and professional, administrative, and technical positions,) social procurement, neighbourhood and environmental improvement, and community oversight. As of March 31st, 2021, CTS has achieved 424 Community Benefits Placements, including 202 Apprentices and Journey Persons, and 222 in professional, administrative and technical positions, and just over $800,000 in social procurement.
These achievements required adjusting traditional recruitment, hiring and procurement practices to incorporate more inclusive approaches to attract, employ and retain individuals from previously excluded group that included women, youth and newcomers, Indigenous and other racialized people. Also, under the terms of the Community Benefits Agreement, CTS reports on its progress quarterly to an oversight table comprised of the stakeholders to whom it is accountable, including owner client Metrolinx and Toronto Community Benefits Network.
Six years into the project, CTS is being recognized for this award based on the holistic approach to equity, diversity and inclusion that it has built year over year to arrive at a full range of best practices and outcomes recognized by the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion benchmarks. CTS has done the work, on the ground that achieving diversity requires. Along with its achievements in outcomes, it is being recognized for its commitment and responsiveness to addressing challenges not only with solutions found within GDEIB playbook, but also through its own initiative and by being receptive to feedback from accountable stakeholders.
CTS actions have aligned with the benchmarks to achieve a Diversity Program which begins with Senior Leaders commitment to diversity and correspond directly to the five categories found within the BuildForce Self Assessment tool used to evaluate the Award nominees. All initiatives carried out by CTS that are listed below are reviewed formally and strategically at minimum once per year or as needed. They include:
- a Communication Plan that includes annual policy statements, training, project-wide stand downs with all employees and subcontractors, outward reinforced commitments to anti-Black racism and with zero tolerance
- reporting on demographics, pay equity, representation by group or level, and correction on inequities
- creative recruitment practices with outreach to traditionally underrepresented groups
- community benefits outcomes resulting in over 360 hires reflecting the demographics of Toronto
- on the job-learning, mentorship, and wrap around programs for individuals requiring more support
- career fairs and pre-hire initiatives to support communities on readiness for employment
- training and development initiatives on diversity and unconscious bias
- a self-serve internal Diversity website with resources, employee driven groups, tools, commitments, and chats
- project-wide communications for Black History Month to learn from employees on the project
- continued sourcing of investments in procurement benefiting local, social and diverse suppliers
- participation in external activities such as Pride, and Women in Construction forums