This week, we launch TRIEC Connector, a program that brings skilled immigrants and industry leaders together, so they can expand their professional networks.
Connector’s Program Coordinator, Anna Kostecka, tells us why she wanted to be involved with the program, and why she thinks it’s important for TRIEC to be carrying out this work.
The “brain waste” of skilled immigrants – when people come to Toronto and are not able to put their skills and talents to good use in their work – is an issue that I have long felt strongly about. As a skilled immigrant myself, I have first-hand experience of searching for meaningful employment in the GTA, and I know how crucial making the right connections is to being successful.
When I arrived here, I was extremely fortunate to meet wonderful people who shared their resources and networks with me. For me, developing this program is a way of paying it forward.
When I found out about TRIEC, I was working on a project addressing the brain waste of skilled immigrants as part of my fellowship at the School for Social Entrepreneurs – Ontario. But the problem is complex, and finding the right solution is not straightforward. I wanted to join TRIEC because it has been championing solutions in this field for more than 10 years. I felt that with an established organization such as this, I could start having an impact straight away.
The TRIEC Connector program is complementary to existing services for immigrants in Toronto. TRIEC is not reinventing the wheel with Connector – we’re trying to enhance what’s already out there. The program is for skilled immigrants who are “job-ready” but just missing this vital piece: knowing the right people.
Connector is a successful program that has been piloted in communities across Canada. We’re bringing it to Toronto, because we want to give industry leaders here the opportunity to make a difference. We want to give them the opportunity to open their networks, and create an open community within their field- because we believe that healthy networks are open networks, where you can have connections with a lot of different people.
It’s a unique idea. The value of TRIEC Connector is in the fact that by giving just a few hours of their time to meet with an immigrant to the GTA – someone who’s outside of their usual networks – industry leaders in our region can make a significant impact on someone’s life, as well as gaining something for themselves. It really is the small things that make a big difference.
Anna, and other stakeholders involved in building the Connector in the GTA, will be blogging regularly about the program’s progress – watch this space for the next instalment! If you’d like to find out more about how Connector works, visit the program pages on this website.