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rooted in experience

The ELM Tree board has more than 20 years of experience in strategic recruitment, developing high performance teams, co-operative education, internships and workplace leadership programs.

our founder

The Director, Roger Francis has substantial experience launching comparable initiatives in the space of experiential learning, industry recruitment and scaled student employment initiatives. From 1998 to 2003 he worked as a recruitment consultant for clients in the high technology industry. From 2007 to 2016 ,as Director of Arts and Science Co-op, Roger established co-operative education programming at the University of Toronto Scarborough in 13 different academic faculties and 32 program areas. During this period the enrollment in co-op programs grew from 280 to 2500 and staff compliment grew from 3 to 28.


our network


Since 2016 Roger has consulted for Centennial College, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto and is currently working on initiative for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering to expand and modernize co-op and experiential learning programming for 7500 undergraduate, masters and PhD students. 

Over the past 20 years Roger has amassed a database of employers and industry leaders eager to optimize the recruitment process and access to the broader student population at Ontario Universities. He has also established a broad network of career educators and practitioners at all levels from students to senior administrators. The most significant resource that Roger has nurtured is the perspective of thousands of students who have participated in his programming and have shared feedback, concerns and interests of youth leaders, learners and job seekers.



our beginning


In 2017, while serving as President of the Scarborough Business Association, Roger founded ELM Tree after a decade of consultation with employers, students, recent grads, the Public Service Commission and Provincial Ministers of Training Colleges and Universities and Economic Development and Growth.


ELM Tree's vision is to enhance the recruitment process and bring smart mechanisms to augment the job to skilled worker matching process. With the majority of students in tertiary education not being enrolled in a co-op program, and recruitment practices from industry not reaching the bulk of students, employers are faced with barriers to what is considered a hidden skilled student and recent graduate population. Coupled with the notion of an expansive hidden job market creates massive inefficiencies in connecting skilled labour with industry opportunities.  


our research


In the summer of 2018, our research team developed three reports on the following:

1) Disproportionate Development in Experiential Learning, Critical Demands of Liberal Arts Students

2) Cultivating Student Employability

3) Available Experiential Learning programming in Ontario - ELM Tree Recommendations.


This work led to the development of 4 Canada Summer Jobs youth positions, for 2019, that are focusing on professional and leadership development, policies, and experiential learning program administration. The work of these 7 CSJ positions will lend directly to ELM Tree's development of the current EL Smart Conferences initiative. Under the current leadership and access to an engaged network of professionals and career education administrators, this project is poised to grow and flourish to serve to broader student and youth populations. 

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