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The plan: train and hire Toronto’s neediest for six-figure jobs. The catch: how to find them

Ahmed Abbi, an apprentice with the Carpenters Union Local 27, is seen at their training centre in Vaughan, Ont., Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (Photos by Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail)

Earlier this spring, Ahmed Abbi, a 27-year-old Weston resident, was at a North York golf club, building lockers.

On its face, that modest job may not seem noteworthy. But for Mr. Abbi – who was born in Somalia, grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp and came here 14 years ago – the five-day gig marked two firsts: As a novice carpenter’s apprentice, he was earning $18.50 an hour – “the most I ever got in Toronto,” he says. Mr. Abbi was also the first Somali-Canadian to work in the Carpenters Union Local 27.

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