Nissan Canada announced a three-year partnership with Accelerate Auto, a newly established not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing opportunities for Black people and tackling systemic racism in Canada’s automotive industry.
“As we work to make Canada’s auto industry more inclusive, and to attract the next generation of Black talent to the automotive industry, we are very pleased to announce the support from Nissan Canada,” said Christopher Nabeta, founding member of Accelerate Auto. “One of Nissan Canada’s focus areas is education, and this aligns perfectly with our organization’s outreach to Black high school, university and college students looking for exciting and rewarding career opportunities.”
A first by a car manufacturing company in Canada, the three-year partnership with Accelerate Auto will help support the organization’s efforts to attract more Black talent to Canada’s automotive industry, and to help bridge the gap with the disenfranchised communities Accelerate Auto is working with.
“We aspire to attract more diverse talent within Canada’s automotive industry, and we are pleased to support the efforts of Accelerate Auto in reaching out directly to the youth in different communities and shed light on the various opportunities in our industry,” said Steve Milette, president of Nissan Canada. “Nissan Canada yearns to establish lasting partnerships to ensure its efforts lead to long-term tangible and sustainable benefits to people’s lives. We believe this partnership will achieve that objective.”
One of Nissan Canada’s key focus points is its employees and creating a culture where everyone is celebrated. In its continued efforts to bring diversity into the workplace, Nissan Canada has put in place, since 2007, Business Synergy Teams (BSTs), including Women and Multicultural BSTs, which are led by volunteer employees. Nissan’s Business Synergy Teams (BST) connect diverse groups of employees with shared characteristics or interests into high-functioning groups, through educational events, networking, enhancing business activities and decisions, and the ability to celebrate diversity at work.
Among other initiatives, Accelerate Auto is working closely with various school boards, universities and colleges, and is engaging in speaking opportunities and other engagements to introduce the auto industry as a great career option. This partnership will help support those efforts to ensure more people hear from those working in the industry, particularly from the deep pool of Black talent that are members of Accelerate Auto.
The Canadian automotive industry has a severe lack of Black representation across all sectors: dealerships, manufacturers, suppliers, aftermarket — and at all levels, from entry-level to the C-suite. With one in seven jobs in Canada connected to automotive, there are many opportunities and Accelerate Auto’s goal is to see Black professionals better represented in the industry.
The founding members of the organization are made up of representatives across dealerships, manufacturers, industry associations, the aftermarket, suppliers and the media. Accelerate Auto is looking for more organizations throughout the automotive industry in Canada to get involved.