Mohammed Al-Salem is Community Benefits and Relatuons Coordinator at EllisDon. He was instrumental in creating opportunities for high school Cooperative Education – STEP To Construction students to be on the West Park Hospital construction site. I had the pleasure of knowing Mohammed when he was part of the Metrolinx Community Benefits department. Mohammed was introduced to the STEP To Construction program through the contacts we made at Metrolinx and he instantly requested to meet with us to find out the details of how the program works. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to move the program forward. It was a sad day when we heard that Mohammed was leaving Metrolinx. We were encouraged that he would continue his role in Community Benefits helping young people. Not long after Mohammed joined the Ellis Don team and the STEP To Construction program was on his radar again. He reached out again to us, and we worked together to bring the STEP To Construction program to his new employer Ellis Don. Mohammed set up a meeting with the Ellis Don Management team and was instrumental in advocating to give the high school program a chance.
Has the individual led efforts that benefit targets for diverse hiring on construction projects associated with a community benefits agreement? Check the examples below that apply to the nominee
Yes, at the West Park Hospital
Provide more detail about the actions taken, and any outcomes or measurable results for the actions selected above.
Dedicated outreach, recruitment, hiring and dispatch of equity seeking groups, Proactive strategies for job preparation, job retention and apprenticeship completion, Mobilizing and collaborating with stakeholders on new approaches to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion in construction workplaces, Collaboration with sector stakeholders on actions that result in more welcoming workplaces for diverse workers, Arranging direct dispatch to job sites and placement in apprenticeships, Mentoring various youth, Became educated on Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks and Other leadership actions with measurable results
Has the nominee contributed to adjusting or improving any other traditional practices within the construction sector to incorporate more inclusive approaches?
Mohammed ensured that The STEP To Construction Program had a student Nicholas on the West Park Hospital site who was interested in a career in construction. Mohammad was able to set Nicholas with Greg Ingram the site super who was willing to give the program an opportunity. Greg assigned Nicholas with Andrew Dixon who mentored our student during the coop term October 2021 to January 2022. The experience Nicholas had on site included assisting management, trying different trades such as construction craft worker, carpenter, masons etc. Nicholas truly developed the skills necessary to start a career in construction. Once the program ended in June, he was able to connect with Local 27 and has started an apprenticeship with them. Nicholas is a black, young immigrant who came to Canada just looking for an opportunity to make it. Paying rent and putting food on the table as well as completing high school were his priority. I recently spoke with Nicholas who is doing well and is very thankful for the chance at a good career with Local 27, thanks to Mohammed. Nicholas mentioned that he is taking additional qualifications at Local 27 and aspires to continue to develop his
Describe any other actions (not mentioned above) that recommend the nominee as a Community Benefits Champion.
Mohammed has shown that he has a vision for equity in the workplace and strives to be creative in finding solutions. His efforts to help our high school youth is really thinking outside the box but realistic that students are the next generation of construction workers. Once Nicholas completed his coop placement at West Park in January, Mohammed made sure we were able to place another student Daiquan at West Park for the term March 2022 to June 2022. Daiquan is a black youth who is interested in a career in construction.
Provide any additional information that explains why this nominee should be considered for the Community Benefits Champion Award.
Typically, most of the Community Benefits Agreements look at the adult community. Mohammed has looked at the Toronto District School Board students to fill part of the equity issue which exists in construction. If we are able to solve the inequity problem at a much younger age, then there won't be a problem once adulthood is reached.
Mohammed is instrumental in his social work in the evenings with youth in priority neighbourhoods. His leadership and hard work is evident in the many success stories related to efforts to make communities better.
Mohammed is a very caring individual who has dedicated his life\'s work to help with underserved youth and individuals who are striving for a better life. His work in the Diversity Equity and Inclusion needs speaks for it self and he is definitely a worthy recipient of this award.