On March 11, 2017, TRIEC brought together leaders from professional immigrant networks to celebrate what they have achieved together through the Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) program in 2016-17 and look at opportunities for the coming year.
The day was hosted by Miguel Abascal, PINs leader from UnstopppableMe.rocks, and was attended by 21 PINs leaders representing 15 PINs associations. The event began with Margaret Eaton, TRIEC’s Executive Director, giving the opening remarks and setting the stage for the PINs work going into the next fiscal year.
In 2016-17, two new associations and five new partner organizations joined the PINs community. A complete list of associations can be found on the PINs Directory. To raise awareness, PINs staff promoted existing PINs associations to immigrant audiences through presentations to partner audiences, immigrant audiences, and featured in online portals. This has resulted in a total of 1405 connection requests from immigrants so far in 2016-17, close to double the set target of 800 connection requests.
A number of collaborations were highlighted including:
- PINs hosted three Quarterly Meetings last year, providing an opportunity for leaders to meet, exchange ideas, and talk about their accomplishments, priorities and challenges. These meetings were highly beneficial to leaders. You can find minutes from these meetings in our Resource Library.
- In collaboration with New Horizons Media and ACCES Employment, PINs hosted the Immigrant Business Expo, in November 2016 at Metro Hall. The event provided skilled immigrants interested in entrepreneurship with resources, best practices and skills needed in starting or continuing a successful business.
- PINs continued to provide ongoing support to Volunteer Toronto’s Grassroots Growth project – through which volunteer-run groups such as PINs associations were provided with tools and resources to successfully run their operations.
- PINs continued to support the Internationally-Educated Health Professionals (IEHP) working group, jointly undertaken with associations in the healthcare sector and PINs partner, Community Matters. The group was formed to help professionals in the healthcare sector find meaningful employment, either in their own profession or in alternative careers.
- PINs also partnered with New Horizons Media to produce an episode for the New Canadians web and TV show. Four videos were produced showcasing different PINs associations and the work they do in helping skilled immigrants in the GTA.
Two networking events were hosted for PINs members in 2016-17:
- Networking Counts, held in May 2016 in collaboration with CPA Ontario, focused on helping finance and accounting professionals connect with PINs leaders and established professionals from TRIEC’s employer partners in the sector, in a speed networking-style event. Participants came away with valuable tips and advice on effective job-search strategies
- In February 2016, PINs held another joint event with Modis Canada, where association members had the opportunity to meet with recruiters from the IT industry and learn about trends in the IT industry in 2017 and resume building skills.
In addition, PINs leaders also participated in a working session with LoyaltyOne as part of their CommunityOne week event. At the session, PINs leaders had the opportunity to work with LoyaltyOne staff and get solutions to their association’s communications challenges.
PINs also facilitated speaking opportunities for leaders in the media:
- Paula Calderon and Johanna Colmenares from the Canadian Colombian Professional Association were interviewed on the Career Buzz radio show.
- Rene Berrospi from PINs@YorkU was interviewed by the National Public Radio (NPR).
- Gerard Keledjian from New Canadian Media Professionals (NCMP) network appeared on CBC Metro Morning.
In addition, the following PINs leaders were also featured in the written pieces for TRIEC’s digital platforms including the website and e-newsletters:
- Dr. Nicodeme Mugisho, International Medical Graduates – Waste Prevention Network (IMG-WPN)
- Mahboob Bolandi, Mohandes
- Dr. Syed Jaffery, TNO-IDEAS
- Jenny Okonkwo, Black Female Accountants Network
- Marcela Chein, EXATEC Ontario
Best practices and tools for PINs leaders on effective time management to enhance productivity
Mark Ellwood from Management Advisory Services (MAS) spoke about the importance of time management for PINs leaders. Through an interactive session, Mark demonstrated the tools and best practices that PINs leaders can use in their day-to-day work to manage their time effectively. Some of the advice he shared included:
- Set clear goals to align your activities with the things that are important. Your goals should follow the SMART formula
- Every day, take the time to plan your day. At the end of the day, make sure to review the list and check off items completed
- You don’t have to say yes just to please people. Assert yourself and control your time by saying no. Alternatively, you can try saying “yes, but…” and list conditions or rules to make it effective
PINs Partner, Volunteer Toronto, talks to PINs leaders about the Grassroots Growth program and its upcoming Grassroots Week event
Staff members and volunteers from Volunteer Toronto’s Grassroots Growth project were present at the event to speak with PINs leaders about the project and their upcoming Grassroots Week event. The event will be a free week-long celebration of grassroots groups, including PINs associations, and will provide workshops, learning sessions and networking opportunities to participants. For more information on the event and to sign up, visit www.grassrootsweek.ca.
PINs leaders learn about capacity-building resources, best practices and tips
To round off the day, PINs leaders participated in two rounds of learning sessions, on Member Engagement and Beating the Burnout and Succession Planning. The sessions were hosted by PINs partners:
- Member Engagement, hosted by Ben Hum, North American Association of Asian Professionals (NAAAP), Toronto: This session was a complement to the Member Engagement e-learning module on the TRIEC Campus learning platform. PINs leaders learned about the fundamentals of engaging members in their association. Ben shared his own tips on how NAAAP Toronto keeps their members engaged, and provided practical tips that associations can implement. Check out his presentation provided at the end of the document for more information.
- Beating the Burnout – Succession Planning for PINs leaders, hosted by Jessica Pang-Parks and Claire McWatt, Volunteer Toronto – Grassroots Growth: PINs leaders learned about burnout, and gained tips on how to prevent and manage it. Jessica also spoke about the importance of succession planning and how to manage it smoothly. You can learn more by accessing the training modules provided on the Grassroots Growth website, provided in the links below.
Effective Time Management and Productivity – session handouts
Learning session training modules – Beating the Burnout: Succession Planning*
- Preventing and Managing Burnout (Work-Life Balance resources)
- Succession Planning (Work-Life Balance resources)
- Managing Volunteer Issues (Volunteer Management Basics resources)
*You will need to create a free Grassroots Growth account to access these resources.