Inclusiveness Is Top of the Agenda for TD Bank

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Inclusivity is big news at the moment. With social issues at the front and center of people's attention right now, businesses all over the world are looking for ways to diversify their talent pool.

However, inclusivity should never be seen as a box-ticking or quota-filling exercise. Companies which see inclusivity in this way are only really interested in the outward appearance of inclusivity and how it makes the brand look to the rest of the world. Companies which instead see the value in being more inclusive - in the diverse range of ideas and viewpoints inclusivity brings to the table - are the ones which make serious investments into expanding the diversity of their workforce.

TD Bank is one such company and has been dedicating itself to developing talent outside of the regular pipelines.

TD Bank

One way in which TD Bank achieves this is through an annual transition program, designed to help children of high school age with intellectually or developmentally diverse abilities. The program has recently started its second year in partnership with Project SEARCH.

Project SEARCH is a special initiative with Camden County Educational Services Commission, the Employment Network Team of New Jersey, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Division of Developmental Disabilities working together to help local children overcome educational and developmental challenges.

The candidates, selected from Cherry Hill, Lenape Regional, and Camden City School Districts are given real-life, on-the-job training through ten-month TD Bank internships. TD Bank recently invited members of the 2019 graduating class to its offices to help further develop the skills they had acquired throughout the course. Working on ten-week rotations, the students will get the chance to work in many different departments of TD Bank with the best and brightest possibly being offered full-time employment when they finish high school.

"Through our partnership with Project SEARCH, we are expanding our pool of top talent, enhancing TD's culture of inclusion, and empowering people of all abilities to fulfill their professional potential," said Senior Vice President and Head of U.S. Diversity and Inclusion at TD Bank, Kelley Cornish. "We're confident that programs like Project SEARCH will help us create a more inclusive tomorrow for people of all abilities at TD and beyond."

Aside from the on the job training and experience (supervised by SEARCH Project staff), the candidates conclude each day with a classroom session covering problem-solving, journaling, and reflection on their key learnings.


The unemployment rate for people in this demographic is twice as high as for those outside of it, so anything which can help these people enter the workforce and bring their unique perspective and ideas to the table is likely to be beneficial to all sides of the arrangement.

This initiative is just one part of TD Bank's Ready Commitment platform, which is a companywide endeavor to expand financial security, build connected communities, and empower people to succeed in their lives and careers, no matter what their background may be.

"With proper support, young people with disabilities can build a lifetime of accomplishments," said Superintendent of the Camden County Educational Services Commission, Daniel Del Vecchio. "In some cases, they outperform their non-disabled peers. We're grateful that TD Bank and our community partners are committed to providing our students with hands-on learning experiences that will help them lead independent and rewarding lives."

The program represents an important step and TD Bank's commitment to building a more inclusive future for the financial industry.

Final Thoughts

TD Bank has a history of forward-thinking initiatives designed to make it a more inclusive and welcoming place to work. Flexible working innovations such as its Job Partnership Program - which allows two employees to share the hours of a full-time job - as well as other options including telecommuting, a condensed or extended workweek, and part-time employment, all serve to create TD Bank's welcoming and inclusive working environment for those with complex extra-employment commitments.

The collaboration with Project SEARCH is simply the latest in a long line of these ideas being put into action by TD Bank. With the program now picking up steam, we are likely to see more and more of these candidates with intellectually or developmentally diverse abilities entering the workforce and bringing their unique perspectives and life experiences to the table.

Diversity and inclusiveness aren't about meeting quotas - they're about bringing real tangible benefits to brands. As one of the ten largest banks in the country, it's great to see a big financial organization such as TD Bank being proactive and helping develop key skills in these populations.

Diversity and inclusivity are set to be hot topics at HR Financial Services 2019, taking place this October, at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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