Winnipeg Connector Partnership

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Officially, the program started in mid-January 2018. To date, there are six referral immigrant employment-serving partners including Success Skills Centre, Edge Skills Centre, Immigrant Centre, Manitoba Start, Premier Choix, and, Pluri-elles. They refer readied Internationally Educated Professionals and Skilled Workers (IEPS) to the program.
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The Winnipeg Connector Partnership had its soft launch on November 22, 2017, in conjunction with Success Skills Centre’s Employer Appreciation event held at the Polo Park Canad Inn, where 67 Winnipeg employers were honoured. The plan for Success Skills Centre to start a Connector Program goes back to 2014 through the Halifax Partnership. Monika G. Feist, SSC CEO and Robyn Webb, Executive Director of the National Connector Program were in communication for several years before signing an agreement in 2016; however, funding for the program was a challenge. Actual implementation of the program occurred at the end of 2017. Presently, the program receives no funding, but it is a commitment of SSC as the lead agency to fill a gap that is sorely needed by immigrants to make networking and mentoring connections in Winnipeg.

First Information Session

February 12, 2018

Employer reps (Connectors) that joined

6

People referred by their counsellors

7

Participants (Connectees) who qualified

12

Connectors actively participating in the program delivery & monthly networking events

90 Business Leaders and Peer Volunteers

The theme the Partnership is promoting to the Winnipeg community is that ‘We ALL are Connectors, and that..
”sprinkled among every walk of life…are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances.  They are Connectors.” 

- Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point


We ALL Are Connectors

“Connects community and business people (Connectors) with employment-ready immigrant professionals (Connectees) in the same Industry”

Connectee’s Selection Criteria:

  • Permanent Resident of Canada
  • Hold a professional qualification, skilled trade certificate, undergraduate or graduate degree from outside of Canada.
  • Obtain language level is at a CLB 6 or higher.
  • Referred by an employment counsellor.
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“What newcomers need at this stage is an understanding of who the local employers are and to get introduced to them, and that’s easy for me to do,” - Paul Bigger

Paul Bigger - Super Connector

Moving from Nigeria to Winnipeg is a shock to the system, especially if you land in the Prairie city as the coldest winter in 40 years sets in. Another shock for newcomers, even those with solid work experience in their home countries, is cold-calling potential employers and not receiving a reply or an interview.

That’s where a connector like Paul Biggar can help.

He has has more than 30 years experience working in management roles, most recently as an Assistant View President at a wealth management firm.

Paul met with his Connectees individually, getting to know them and discover their needs; he also set up weekly informal talks and Q&As with speakers from various organizations, giving Connectees and employers a chance to network and make connections.