Propeller Project

Within our two funding streams; Uplift and Nest, we support organizations and projects working in local neighborhoods to create stronger, healthier and happier communities.

Nest Fund – 2020 Call for Proposals (NOW OPEN)

Toronto Pearson is the world’s gateway to Canada, and we constantly think about the stories and experiences of everyone who passes through our doors—the travelers, our brave frontline workers, our partners and members of the community.

We believe that if there is one place that should be a true reflection of diversity and inclusion, it must be an airport. Our business, after all, is to connect people and cultures from all over the world; this is the essence of who we are at Toronto Pearson.

In June of 2020, the GTAA joined the voices condemning anti-Black racism, systemic racism, inequality and injustices in all shapes and forms that impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and we promised to taking a more active role in the community. Together with our Board of Directors, we are committed to continuing the journey to ensure that principles and practices that drive diversity and inclusion are present in every corner of our business.

Our corporate Diversity and Inclusion program includes an overarching strategy with a broad outlook on the inclusion of many underrepresented groups within our society. To build on our commitments, we signed on to the Black North Initiative CEO Pledge in July 2020, along with other leading organizations in Canada, as a show of our commitment to help alleviate racial, ethnic and other tensions and to promote the elimination of anti-Black systemic racism wherever it exists.

In support of these commitments, we are pleased to announce our 2020 Nest Fund call for proposals, with $300,000 in support of Black and Indigenous organizations to put towards capacity building activities and initiatives.

Interested organizations can apply for a one-time funding grant of up to $50,000 to further strengthen their organizational bandwidth capabilities.

Interested in requesting funding?

  • Submit this short online application after confirming you are eligible based on the requirements below. The deadline for submitting the application is January 8, 2021 at 5:00 pm.
  • There will be an informational webinar on December 9, 2020 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Register by emailing propeller.project@gtaa.com.
  • Successful applications will be announced on January 25, 2021.

Eligibility requirements

  • Organization makeup and service mandate:
    • Applicant organization is Black founded/led (i.e., overseen and operated in the majority by individuals who self-identify as Black) and mainly provides services to clients/individuals who in the majority identify as Black; or
    • Applicant organization is Indigenous founded/led (i.e., overseen and operated in the majority by individuals who self-identify as Indigenous) and mainly provides services to clients/individuals who in the majority identify as Indigenous.
  • The organization has maximum of 50 employees.
  • The organization is located and provides services within the Greater Toronto Area. Special consideration will be given to projects serving the areas around Toronto Pearson Airport (Brampton, Mississauga and Etobicoke).
  • The organization is a charity or non-profit. Private corporations are not eligible for this call for proposals.

Uplift Fund

We have committed $1 million in funding for programs aimed at addressing underemployment.

In recent years, Canadian governments have worked to make Canada’s skilled labour pool more competitive to support economic growth. Ensuring their skills are effectively utilized and allocated by employers is imperative to our country’s future prosperity. When a person is employed below their individual level of skill, professional experience and/or education, the economy is at risk of misusing valuable resources. These instances of labour misallocation represent examples of “underemployment.”

Underemployment is a critical social issue that is often not well understood. Those facing underemployment can come from a diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances, from newcomers to Canada whose credentials may not be recognized, to young adults with post-secondary education who are lacking professional networks and opportunities to break into their sector. Underemployment impacts many people living in our region and is a barrier to shared economic prosperity.

As a major employer in the region, we are well positioned to be a champion in addressing the issue of underemployment by building partnerships with employers, community non-profit organizations and research, academic and labour groups to find regional solutions. To help us achieve this vision, we have committed $1 million to tackle the issue of underemployment across Brampton, Etobicoke and Mississauga.

We have collaborated with Deloitte on a whitepaper to explore the causes and consequences of underemployment in Canada.

Uncovering underemployment whitepaper

The paper was commissioned to proactively generate ideas for policy and programs and help focus strategic priorities for Toronto Pearson’s community investment program in 2019. The findings of the whitepaper helped set stronger guidelines and clear funding priorities for the Propeller Project during our call for proposals for the Uplift Fund. In December of 2019, we invited organizations to submit expressions of interest for projects that will accomplish one or more of these five goals:

  1. Facilitate engagement, collaboration and interventions with employers to develop programs that integrate workers and maximize the use of their skills to generate benefits for both groups.
  2. Enhance wraparound support services and in-demand skills training in employment programs to ensure that people successfully integrate into the labour market.
  3. Conduct new research and track local underemployment to better understand the scope and scale of the problem, barriers, target populations as well as opportunities for improvement and impacts.
  4. Implement initiatives to achieve sustainable employment outcomes with individuals or groups experiencing underemployment, matching their talent with job requirements and helping them advance in their career paths.
  5. Develop strategies to educate and/or advocate for policies and programs to tackle underemployment together with policy makers, elected officials, private institutions, labour groups or post-secondary institutions.

The Uplift Fund is currently not accepting applications.

General guides for Propeller Project partners

  • Organizations must be a registered non-profit within Canada.
  • Organization must be willing to provide audited financial statements upon request.
  • Priority and preference will be given to projects and initiatives that have a positive impact in neighbourhoods surrounding Toronto Pearson (Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton).

We regret that we cannot support:

  • Organizations that are not a registered non-profit.
  • Projects operating outside of Canada.
  • Applications from individuals.
  • Professional associations/events.
  • Private clubs funded through membership fees.
  • Competitive sports teams.
  • Religious organizations or any religiously affiliated groups.
  • Political organizations and/or candidates.

Toronto Pearson workforce development

The Propeller Project is also working with community partners to support initiatives and projects that seek to directly engage or involve workers employed at Toronto Pearson to support them in career development, training, job placement, employment counselling services. To learn more about our first ever airport workforce survey, see our Workforce Survey page.

We are leveraging our partnerships with community organizations and employment service agencies to provide support for Airport workers impacted by COVID-19. Learn more.

Contact us

For questions about Toronto Pearson Community Investment and the Propeller Project, please contact propeller.project@gtaa.com.

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