Our Communities

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We understand that doing good for our business and our community are intrinsically connected.

Teknion contributes to causes that strengthen the well-being of the communities in which we operate. In keeping with our entrepreneurial spirit, we also encourage employees to work with charities that speak to them on a personal level, as personal engagement is the engine for collective responsibility. Ultimately, as a company, and as individuals, we want to leave a legacy behind that we can feel good about.

While it is not uncommon to have generations of families working here, we are actively recruiting the next generation of employees from the communities in which we operate. Not only does this give us an opportunity to discover new talent, it also allows us a way to reach out to sectors of the community that otherwise would be underserved. Because when our local communities thrive, our business and stakeholders also benefit.

 


 

HELPING OUR COMMUNITIES THRIVE

Education + Employment:
creating the next generation of leaders



TRAVAIL JEUNESSE, FORMACA AND CETAL

Our partnership with Travail Jeunesse has grown along with Formaca and CETAL in helping at-risk youth and people with physical and mental disabilities acquire skills needed to attain and keep meaningful work in the communities in which they live.

NCWORKS

We work with the State Agency NCWorks on an on-the-job training program to develop the specialized skills needed or employment in the furniture industry.

CALGARY BOARD OF EDUCATION APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

We have partnered with the Calgary Board of Education to provide opportunities for vocational students to train and prepare for apprenticeship programs at Teknion and other manufacturing facilities in our community.


Vertical Integration:
Commitment to local manufacturing



Our Approach to Outsourcing

Our Supplier Code of Ethics includes undertaking on-site inspections where we audit both working and living quarters.

Additionally, we physically check their Bill of Materials against their inventory to verify their suppliers’ lists. Taking this extra step ensures human rights, environment and labor standards are respected all the way down the supply chain.

Benefits of Owning our Manufacturing

  • Well-paid, skilled jobs for our communities.
  • More economical use of resources and energy.
  • Less transport required = Less greenhouse gas emissions.

 

 


Charitable Efforts:
Engaging within the community


RIDE FOR HEART

Teknion employees are active participants in this annual event supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation, winning the Golden Wheel Award in five of the past six years in the Corporate Challenge category for their fundraising efforts.

HURRICANE RELIEF

$7,690 raised for the Red Cross by our U.S. offices for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief efforts.

BLOOD DRIVES

70 blood donors participated in three blood drives held in New Jersey, potentially saving 126 lives.

SWIM FOR LIFE

Eight participants in the 23 km (14 mi) Swim for Life relay in Lévis, Quebec, raised $8,756 in honor of suicide prevention.

QUEBEC CITY MARATHON

Teknion donated a total of $6,250 over the past two years.

WHEELS FOR THE WORLD

This workshop at our New Jersey office challenged employees via fun competitions to design bicycles to donate to local school kids.


 


 

THEIR SUCCESS IS OUR REWARD

Marie-France sums it up for everyone when asked what she is most proud of when looking at the sum total of her efforts – her answer, “their success is our reward.”

Marie France (second from left) alongside three program graduates and now full-time employees of Teknion.

 

Marie France Gosselin, Pamela Blake and Joy Callahan head up organizations that partner with Teknion to provide youth with meaningful work and a future they can be proud of.

Marie France Gosselin Travail Jeunesse Quebec City, Quebec

In 1999, Travail Jeunesse started small. Dedicated to the successful integration of at-risk youth into the community and workforce, it established a 5,000 sq. ft. (465 m2) manufacturing facility in which it could hire and train at-risk youth (99 percent of whom are homeless when they meet Marie France and her support team). Youth not only perform contract manufacturing work for local businesses but also gain the necessary social skills to function within the community. At the time, Travail Jeunesse relied on the government for 80 percent of the funding. It started with simple manufacturing processes like bagging nuts and bolts. But with commitment to social and vocational training, the program grew. It added 15,000 sq. ft. (1,393.5 m2) and has brought many local business partners on-board.

Teknion has been involved since the beginning. Travail Jeunesse has diverted production through the facility and expanded the type of work undertaken in the plant to include more sophisticated tasks, like cabinet assembly. It also brings in engineers to train the youth on Kaizen (continuous employment) providing them with valuable skills they can use to advance themselves. Today, Travail Jeunesse returns about $1,000,000 per year in value back into the local economy and is 90 percent self-funded. Fortyfive individuals are enrolled in this program each year, and the organization boasts a 75 percent integration rate into the workforce. Teknion is a beneficiary of this success rate beyond just Travail Jeunesse,s manufacturing plant. It employs Travail Jeunesse alumni within its facilities, reaping the benefits of a skilled workforce it custom rained.

 

Neither the organizations, the companies nor the students involved in these programs consider what they do to be charitable activities.

Pamela Blake (center) and her students-in-training at Teknion’s Calgary Facility

 

 

Pamela Blake Jack James High School Calgary, Alberta

Pamela’s days are very busy. They are spent traveling around the community in which her high school is located, identifying opportunities to advance the well-being of youth in her community. This includes bringing at-risk high school kids to Solutions, Teknion’s wood plant in Calgary. These kids have faced challenges and ordeals beyond what any young person should have to shoulder and face a very real possibility of no prospect for a good job or future beyond their present moment.

This is where Pamela steps in. She makes the connection between these kids and local businesses that can give them a life chance. Their training hours at Teknion perform double time as credits toward graduating high school, something that seemed like a dim prospect before they joined the program. Kevin Wood, Plant Manager, and his team at Teknion’s Calgary plant provide training and mentorship in trades like carpentry and cabinet making, as well as inventory management and logistics.

 

All involved understand this is a smart way to invest in the future of local industry and the next generation of young people within the communities in which they operate.

Joy Callahan in a Johnston Community College classroom, ready to co-create the next year’s curriculum.

 

 

Joy Callahan Johnston Community College Smithfield, North Carolina

How do you enrich the fabric of your community? The answer is simple to Joy – provide possibilities for its youth. That translates into practical skills that will lead to employment. Joy understands everything is connected. You cannot strengthen your community without strengthening your local labor pool and you cannot guarantee the future of your community if you do not support local industry.

Since the tobacco farming industry has bottomed out in North Carolina, other industries need to take its place. One of those industries is furniture and Studio TK is an integral part of that growing manufacturing cluster. Johnston Community College partners with Teknion to provide customized educational units that train youth on skills identified by Studio TK as integral for employment within its facility. Co-creating the curriculum in this manner ensures employment opportunities at Studio TK.

Organizations We Support

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • ANEW
  • Animal Orphanage of New Jersey
  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Baycrest Home for the Aged
  • Battered Women in Dade County
  • California Waterfowl
  • Cameron Diamond Foundation
  • Cancer Support Community
  • Cathedral Kitchen
  • Cétal
  • Chicago Women’s Health Center
  • Children’s Wish Foundation
  • CitiWide Harm Reduction
  • Clayton North Carolina Fire Department
  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada
  • Design Exchange
  • Destination Foundation
  • Evergreen Brick Works
  • Florida International University
  • Fondation de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis
  • Fondation de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montmagny
  • Fondation du CHU de Québec
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Unity Temple
  • Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute
  • Gigi’s House
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Hospital
  • Juggerknot Theatre Company
  • Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Miami Art Museum Miami Children’s Hospital
  • Mount Royal College of Art & Design
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital
  • March of Dimes
  • MS Foundation
  • National Building Museum
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, School of Design
  • Ontario College of Art & Design
  • Petchitecture
  • Philanthropy by Design
  • Princess Margaret Hospital
  • Public Architecture
  • Red Cross
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Ryerson University
  • Salvation Army
  • San Francisco Food Bank
  • Seneca College
  • The Firehouse Community Arts Center
  • Toys for Tots
  • United Way/Centraide
  • University Health Network
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Toronto
  • Vallabh Niketan Ashram
  • World Vision
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • York University
  • Youth Inc.