Today, TD announced the 10 recipients of the inaugural TD Ready Challenge. Each organization will receive CDN $1 million (USD $775,000) to help them scale their innovative solutions aimed at preparing Canadians and Americans for the economy of the future.
With a focus on financial security, the recipients of this year's Challenge will apply the grants to solutions that they have designed to help workers transform their existing skills and build new ones, help reduce barriers to STEM training for underrepresented groups, and help harness the power of Artificial Intelligence, all with the goal of helping to open doors for individuals who have the greatest risk of falling behind due to rapid technological advancement.
"The changing workplace presents new opportunities for a prosperous economy, but we must grow in ways that provide everyone with a chance to succeed," says Bharat Masrani, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, TD Bank Group. "Fortunately, there is no shortage of innovative ideas to support greater income stability – ideas that can open doors and help people feel more confident in their future."
About the TD Ready Challenge
Acting as a springboard for social innovation, TD established the TD Ready Challenge to identify and support scalable solutions to a specific issue identified within The Ready Commitment. In its inaugural year, the issue of focus for the TD Ready Challenge was helping to increase income stability and it encouraged non-for-profit organizations across the U.S. and Canada that are working on innovative solutions to help increase income stability and help improve the skills people will need for the economy of the future. In total, TD granted CDN $10 million under the 2018 Challenge.
From over 200 submissions, TD shortlisted 15 semi-finalists who presented their solutions on September 7, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario. These semi-finalists were then judged in two rounds by a panel composed of TD executives and external subject matter experts, including Linda Nazareth, economist and trends expert, and Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO, Centre for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). Ten finalists were then chosen by the panel at the close of the second round.
The successful 2018 TD Ready Challenge grantees are:
- ACCES Employment (Canada - Ontario): Women in Technology
- Recognizing emerging high-growth areas in STEM, ACCES Employment will provide immigrant women with training, employer connections and experiential learning to help secure and retain competitive employment in programming and cybersecurity.
- Byte Back (U.S. - Washington, DC): Byte Back Ready – Pathways to Economic Success
- Byte Back will scale its inclusive training pathway from the Washington, DC region into Baltimore, helping more people enter life-changing careers and fully participate in the digital economy.
- Canada Learning Code (Canada - Ontario): Unlocking the Power of Code – Digital Literacy Education for Adults
- This education initiative will offer hands-on, accessible learning experiences for mid-career individuals to increase their digital literacy and technological knowledge to thrive in a rapidly-changing job market, while acting as a bridge for adults interested in making a career shift into technology.
- École des entrepreneurs de Québec (Canada - Québec): Prévisio Software with Financial Literacy Training
- To address the challenge of financial forecasting for entrepreneurs as they evaluate the viability of their projects, this program will enhance capabilities and tools to help increase entrepreneurs’ financial literacy and enable them to make strategic decisions based on business results.
- JEVS Human Services (U.S. - Pennsylvania): JEVS-College for America – Greater Philadelphia Area
- A collaborative effort with Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America (CfA), this initiative will address the inaccessibility of post-secondary education for those from low-income families by offering the opportunity for individuals to attend employer-driven degree programs, while providing direct access to living wage opportunities.
- JFF/Audacious Futures (Cross-Border – Massachusetts & Ontario): The Navigation Map for the Future of Work and Learning
- An AI-powered upskilling/reskilling solution addressing the global future of work challenge in the age of AI and automation. Powering individuals by 'locating' their starting point, it enables users to set a 'destination' and recommends 'pathways' to get there, providing guidance and support along the way.
- Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) (U.S. - Pennsylvania): Creating Income Security through Technology-Based Workforce Development
- This initiative will work with young adults to build towards a sustainable future by blending intensive coding with technology skills through a nationally-recognized workforce development curriculum.
- Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology (Canada - Ontario): TD-HELIX Transformation Initiative
- To tackle the challenge of reskilling mid-career professionals whose jobs might be impacted by changes in the labour market, the program will change their 'career DNA' and improve individuals' skills as creative thinkers, problem-solvers, communicators and collaborators.
- Windmill Microlending (Canada - Alberta): Increasing Income Stability for Skilled Immigrants
- This program will increase income stability for newcomers with a program providing low-interest loans of up to $10,000 to skilled immigrants to fund the costs of training and Canadian credentials, while offering support and guidance to unlock participants’ past education and experience.
- WoodGreen Community Services (Canada - Ontario): Accelerating Possibilities – Creating Sustainable Pathways to Success in a Changing Landscape
- This initiative will bring together and scale four of WoodGreen’s most successful advancement programs in an innovative accelerator program to position mid-career participants for financial stability and sustainable employment.
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 12 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.3 trillion in assets on July 31, 2018. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.