Launch of a new community employment agency

About this project

After nearly 15 years of existence, the CDEC Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce closed its doors in 2016. Its mission was to encourage and promote the social and economic development of the neighbourhood by providing local stakeholders with the right resources. Its closure left a void in leadership and collective action related to employment in the neighbourhood.

The neighbourhood plan developed in 2017 by Côte-de-Neiges stakeholders as part of its strategic planning identified access to quality jobs for immigrants as a major issue, the goal being to not only give people access to better working conditions but also help them keep their jobs. Poor workers with difficult working conditions were also targeted as a priority.

A prior consultation with residents revealed that:

A group of employability agencies in the neighbourhood came together with partners to create the Table Emploi de CDN to explore concrete solutions.

An Operational Committee made up of agencies that support CDN job seekers was created to develop a project. This project, which received support from the Maison de l’Innovation sociale (MIS), aims to co-create a community staffing agency to build connections with employers from all networks, identify non-posted job offers, and develop service agreements to offer more high-quality employment opportunities to vulnerable people in the neighbourhood.

The Table Emploi CDN liaison officer surrounded by the four MIS social innovators in residence and eight people who helped collect information to create a prototype of the community employment agency.

Working in your neighbourhood

With these services, the neighbourhood hopes that workers can increase their families’ standard of living, have the chance to move into better housing, enjoy more time with their children, and enhance their quality of life while remaining in Côte-des-Neiges. The whole neighbourhood—employers, workers and families—will benefit.

An exploration to better meet the needs of vulnerable people

A first development phase allowed stakeholders to:

  1. Define the needs of job seekers and the actual challenges facing immigrants in Côte-des-Neiges.
  2. Target the most vulnerable people who need support to find quality jobs.
  3. Look for social economy business models that offer similar services elsewhere in Montreal or Quebec.
  4. Develop better knowledge of resources and complementary services among CDN agencies that work in the area of employment.
  5. Gauge the interest of some key Côte-des-Neiges employers in working on the project and their desire to potentially sign employment service agreements with the new community employment agency.


The coming months will be used to:

  1. Refine the user experience and procedures among the agencies involved.
  2. Under actual conditions, experiment with services with partner employers, such as the Centre funéraire Côte-Des-Neiges, the CIUSSS [AMB2] du Centre-Ouest, and Université de Montréal.


We want to develop a coordinated local hiring strategy that engages agencies and large employers in the local area, which will facilitate access to employment, particularly for people from an immigrant background.