2005年 03月 03日
この人も多聞にもれず、外国の資格（Foreign credential）が評価されずカナダの経験（Canadian experience）も得られず、生活のためやむなくファーストフードの仕事をつかんだらしい。
この記事では、トロントにあるブリッジプログラムとしてSkills for Change（http://www.skillsforchange.org/）という団体を紹介してる。
Mar. 2, 2005. 01:00 AM
Out of the fry pan and into a career
This is the first of six profiles on the 2005 New Pioneers Award winners. Presented by Skills for Change, a non-profit agency that helps newcomers improve their employment and job-hunting skills, the awards recognize achievements of immigrants and refugees who have enriched our communities. The Star is a sponsor of the awards, to be presented at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel on March 9.
When Eric Acuna moved to Canada from the Philippines in 1997, the quality-control engineer gave himself 100 days to find a job.
He found one on Day 86 — at a Burger King restaurant near Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E., mopping floors, flipping burgers and taking orders from managers half his age.
"I just grabbed the opportunity to make a living, to pay my bills," recalled 41-year-old Acuna, a graduate of Skills for Change's career-bridging program for foreign-trained professionals.
"My wife kept telling me to quit because she was embarrassed to tell people back home what I was doing. I found the job challenging. It wasn't degrading. I was only making my living with dignity."
But Acuna also had a longer-term goal.
By working evenings and weekends, Acuna managed to spend 40 hours a week at the restaurant while enrolled in the agency's full-time program, which helped him polish his resumé and improve his interview skills, and explained the ins and outs of returning to his profession in Canada.
In May 1998, he attended a job fair and dropped off his improved resumé at a Ford Motor Co. booth for a position he thought he would never get because of his foreign credentials and experience.
But luck struck. Acuna, who has an engineering degree from Manila's Mapua Institute of Technology, landed his first "real" job in Canada: a year-long contract at the auto giant's Oakville plant.
Without a car or a driver's licence, Acuna left his midtown home every day at 4 a.m. and boarded a TTC bus to Union Station. There, he would catch the first GO Transit bus to Port Credit and then a train to Oakville. From the train station, he took a cab to the plant.
"It was three to four hours of commuting each day. It cost me $25 a day, but it was worth it," said Acuna, a 2005 New Pioneers Award winner for his achievements since graduating from Skills for Change. "It's an investment you have to pay to acquire the elusive Canadian work experience."
From there, he never looked back, moving from job to job before settling down as a quality-control manager at Mississauga's Newark Paperboard Products two years ago.
"To succeed, you really need to have a good attitude over your work and your life. Even working at a lower-level job, one has to give your best and seize every opportunity to learn," he said.
And Acuna is still grateful to the Burger King manager who gave him his first job in this country.
"I was very lucky that I got the job, so I could improve my skills and learn to work in a Canadian environment," he said. "I had my struggle. I had my challenge. No pain, no gain. Now I'm tasting my success."