Q & A with Connector Program Coordinators and Leaders

Connector Program Benefits for the Community

The Connector Program is not only a program to help newcomers and those new to the community or a given industry in a particular region or city, it also unifies Connector Program communities across the country. Through the sharing of  successes, challenges, and best practices, each community can expand their knowledge, draw on existing resources and access professional development opportunities from the national program.

The program impacts the community and local economy because of its work integrating and including newcomers and international and local graduates into the job market through intentional networking. It also has an impact on the organizations, helping to build capacity, supporting their staff and programs, and bolstering their image and work in the community.

I sat down with the leaders of these organizations across Canada to ask about the Connector Program and what they would say to organizations and communities thinking about how they might continue working towards the integration and inclusion of newcomers in their local communities. Over the next month we’ll be releasing four blogs to discuss why the Connector Program can be beneficial for organizations and their staff and communities.

If you are #ReadyToStart, read our blogs, and contact us to bring a Connector Program to your community today!

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Alida Campbell

Interview by Alida Campbell.

Alida manages the National Connector Program and continues to be inspired by the stories of connection and growth that participants share across the country.
Alida

Alida:

The Connector Program is a one-of-a-kind program, what made you consider taking it on in your community?

Rhonda

Rhonda:

With the focus on immigration and newcomers, it just made sense. It was about seeing and making sure we had the resources so that people new to the community could find these resources. With MusicNL, it’s aligning with our province. For Newfoundland to grow and prosper we need to retain and bring new people to the province. So, we harnessed the Connector Program for MusicNL.

Angelique

Angelique:

In rural communities, we are all about networking. The Connector Program humanizes the process. It helps the area feel more like home, giving newcomers a taste of what we are all about. It shows we care enough about them to help them make their home here. It’s just organic enough to be successful.

Vibha

Vibha:

It’s building a web of connections, which builds stronger members of our community and stronger community bonds. When you have people that are happy in their resettlement, have meaningful employment, and connections in the community, they tend to be happier which can lead to a happier home life. The Connector program has the ability to impact the future, not only for the Connectee, but their entire family.

Wendy

Wendy:

The Connector Program has materially changed people’s lives for the better, both Connectors and Connectees. Although it was originally created as an intentional networking program, the end result is that thousands of newcomers and new graduates are finding meaningful employment in our city so they can stay here. It shows the power of these individuals finding opportunities here and how that has impacted the trajectory of their lives, and their family’s lives, has changed for the better.

Gary

Gary:

It is logical when you look at it. When you put two people together and the result is information sharing, a job shadow or employment it’s a great thing.

Nicole

Nicole:

If population growth and retention is a priority, you need a Connector Program. You need a place and/or service where newcomers can receive assistance with their professional network and where they can get local labour market information.

Alida

Alida:

How have you found the Connector Program engaging members of the established community? Are they as excited about the program as the newcomers?

Tyler

Tyler:

The Connector Program gives those who want to do something for their community a defined commitment. No scope creep, no training. It just allows them to help newcomers which is what they want to do.

Hiba

Hiba:

We need to make sure people make connections which brings the community together. It can only happen when we make the right connections and the program helps us accomplish this.

Monika

Monika:

It’s a way to show volunteers are important to newcomers and that we all have a role to play in the community. It’s another part in making a welcoming community. The program is a true understanding of working together.