FAQs

What is the Connector Program? 

The Connector Program is a unique and innovative workforce development initiative aimed to help immigrants build their professional network, secure relevant jobs and stay in their community, and to connect employers facing labour challenges to high-qualified talent. Since the program was implemented in 2009, it has seen tremendous success and has been replicated in 12 other communities across the country. Recently the Connector Program has been awarded a three-year funding agreement by the federal government to lead the National Connector Program to help launch 10 additional Canadian communities and three industry sectors develop Connector Programs.

How does a Connector Program work?

The Connector Program's innovation and effectiveness lies within three easy steps:

  1. Local immigrant serving organizations and post-secondary career centres refer employment-ready participants (Connectees) to the program.
  2. Connector staff coach the Connectee and match them with a Connector in their field.
  3. The Connector and Connectee meet face-to-face. After the meeting, the Connector links the participant to at least three other people in their business network. Those three people also refer three more people to the Connectee.

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 several times a year. Programs such as the Connector Program can engage immigrant serving organizations and increase the likelihood for 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 and young and emerging talent 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 Greater Halifax Partnership's Connector Program was originally funded by Maytree Allies and RBC, then the 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 fill out our contact form.

How can I become a Connector/Connectee with an existing program?

To become a Connector or a Connectee, please contact your local Connector Program. You can find a list of programs here.

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL CONNECTOR PRE-ARRIVAL CONNECTOR PROGRAM (NPACP)?

The NPACP engages immigrants to participate in the program while they are still overseas, allowing them to meet their Connector virtually and providing them with a crucial head-start in building their professional network. Learn more...