METEGHAN -- More young people and newcomers to Nova Scotia will have a chance to connect with business and community leaders in western Nova Scotia, thanks to a provincial investment of $100,000 to expand the Connector Program, which will be delivered by the province’s Western Regional Enterprise Network (REN).
Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan and Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill announced the funding Tuesday, March 7, at the Western REN's annual summit in Meteghan, Digby County.
"We want to help young and new Nova Scotians grow their professional and community networks, find jobs and stay in communities across the province," said Regan. "The Connector Program also gives mentors the opportunity to support youth in their communities and find new, local talent."
The Connector Program is a networking initiative that helps local businesses and organizations connect with new graduates, immigrants and international students interested in starting and growing their career in Nova Scotia. The program pairs individuals with local employers, civil servants and community leaders.
"We’re working closely with our municipal counterparts through the regional enterprise networks to help local businesses grow and succeed," said Churchill. "I want to thank the Western REN for partnering with us to create local opportunities for our young people and contribute to the economic growth of our region."
Since 2009, the Halifax Partnership's Connector Program has helped more than 800 people secure full-time jobs in the Halifax area.
"We are very excited about the launch of the Connector Program in the western region," said Robyn Webb, director, labour market development, National Connector Program, with the Halifax Partnership. "The Connector Program is designed to help recent graduates and immigrants build their business networks which increases their chances of finding employment in their field. Through the National Connector Program, we have helped over 20 communities launch Connector programs in cities and towns across Canada and internationally."
"We see the Connector Program as an extension of our mandate," said Western Regional Enterprise Network CEO Angélique LeBlanc. "We believe an intentional, regional approach to networking will create openings for youth and newcomers to find a place in the business community."
The ONE Nova Scotia Coalition recommended the expansion to support youth and immigrant retention, economic growth and rural entrepreneurship. The Transition Task Force also recommended expanding the mentorship network in Nova Scotia.
For more information on the Connector Program, go to www.connectorprogram.ca.