A landmark Nova Scotia networking program is helping newcomers find and connect with employers throughout the province.
The Connector program, which was the brainchild of Halifax’s economic development agency’s chief economist Fred Morley, has been in place for three years and is being credited with slowing the province’s brain drain that had recently seen thousands of immigrants and young people leaving in search of professional opportunities elsewhere.
“Finding a job isn’t about what you know,” Morley says regarding the purpose of the program. “It’s about who you know and recognizing that most people don’t find work because of ads in newspapers, but because they meet someone.”
The program started off with the hopes of finding 50 local employers who would volunteer to meet and have a coffee with new immigrants, answering some of their questions and providing names of other professionals whom the job seeker might contact. It has since expanded to approximately 360 professional volunteers.
So far, over 100 immigrants have credited the program with landing them jobs, and other cities have begun to emulate the Halifax model, including Montreal and Charlottetown. There is also talk of expanding the program so that recent Canadian and international graduates can have access to the employer volunteers as well.
“If you talk to people in person, they see you’re confident and positive and have a lot of energy and the passion to learn, that is very important,” says 24 year-old international graduate Doris Du from China, who credits the Connector program with helping her find work in her field.
Source: Globe and Mail