Is your community interested in starting a Connector program for immigrants?
As part of the National Connector Program, the Halifax Partnership is looking to partner with and support Canadian communities and industry associations interested in starting their own Connector Programs.
The Connector Start-up Guide makes it simple to implement a Connector program in your community. Organizations that become a member of the National Connector Program benefit from:
- Connector Start-Up Guide
- Essential steps to starting a Connector Program (budget, job description, etc.)
- Connector and Connectee toolkits
- Letter templates to recruit Connectors and Connectees
- Sample questions to facilitate cross cultural discussion on Canadian workplace culture
- Sample marketing materials
- Online and/or on-site training
- Ability to purchase Connector Program tracking system
- Access to a members only online portal with resources and a member discussion forum
- Program support and resources are provided to members FREE OF CHARGE.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this program difficult or expensive to implement?
This program works best within an organization that already has resources in place and is business facing. There would be office space, meeting space and other colleagues to support the program. However, this is not absolutely necessary.
Most of the costs are related to the labour costs of a coordinator and events. The program can be scaled down to fit the size and capacity of the organization and accordingly a pilot program could be served by a part-time coordinator if the resources and business connections are already in place. Marketing should be professional but can be supplemented with lower cost advertising choices such as Facebook ad campaigns, Google AdWords, or making full use of your partner networks to recruit and advertise information sessions/events.
We use a software tracking system that is available to be purchased if your budget allows, but other free programs could manage the connections if needed.
Why should I consider starting a Connector Program in my city/community?
It can be a great complementary program to an existing mentorship program or it can be an alternative. As an alternative, it is typically easier to implement and often easier to recruit connectors because it is a ‘light’ ask for 30 minutes of time only a few times a year. Programs such as the Connector Program can engage immigrant-serving organizations and increase the likelihood of expanded partnerships. Lastly, immigrants need connections in order to fully realize their potential and to have a better chance of working in their field. This process contributes to community engagement, inclusive labour market practices, collaboration, cooperation and innovative problem-solving.
What are the benefits for Connectors?
The Connector Program gives you access to the global marketplace by putting you directly in touch with skilled newcomers to our community. By getting involved, you help yourself, you help talented people connect with job opportunities, you create a more welcoming community within your region, and you help your industry and city grow.
What are the benefits for Connectees?
We all know that networking is important to career development. This program allows newcomers to have a starting point and get to know contacts in their field.
Connectees benefit from enhanced networking skills, a larger local and professional network and an improved job search.
Who would typically fund this program?
The Halifax Partnership’s Connector Program was originally funded by Maytree Allies and RBC, then the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration and most recently by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education. A provincial government or municipal government may well see the advantage of engaging not only a valuable workforce but also with assisting the labour market with talent needs. Chambers of Commerce have also hosted Connector Programs, as well as Economic Development Councils.
How do I know that this will be successful in my city/community?
We cannot promise you it will be successful, but we can suggest a couple of determinants. If your community can work collaboratively on referring immigrants, sharing information on connectors who would be great volunteers, and if you make sure all three parties follow the simple steps, then it will likely be a success.
Who do I contact to start a connector program?
To start a Connector Program in your area, please contact:
Executive Director – National Connector Program