National Connector Program Announces Launch of Pittsburgh Connector Program

Halifax, NS - June 7, 2018 — The National Connector Program, led by the Halifax Partnership, is pleased to announce the launch of the Pittsburgh Connector Program by All for All in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The National Connector Program is a network of Connector communities across Canada and internationally that address workforce needs by connecting immigrants to local business and community leaders in their field.   The Pittsburgh Connector Program will make connections in some of the region’s high-demand industries, including healthcare, finance, engineering, and technology.

“The beauty of this program is its simplicity: one 30-minute meeting that opens doors to three new contacts,” says Betty Cruz, Project Director of All for All. “Connectees expand their networks and learn more about their communities, Connectors get exposed to community members with a range of backgrounds and experiences.”

This model is used for all communities involved in the National Connector Program, modelled after the success of the Halifax Connector Program established in 2009.

“The fundamental idea behind the Connecter Program is the power of human connections,” says Robyn Webb, Executive Director of the National Connector Program. “To date, National Connector Programs have assisted more than 3,028 participants and engaged with more than 4,704 Connectors, contributing to more than 1,722 jobs found across Canada and in five international communities. We are excited to see how this model will help cultivate meaningful connections that will impact the Pittsburgh economy and community.”

An initiative that specifically engages un/underemployed internationally trained professionals is essential in Pittsburgh. Tarek Dumont, a Syrian immigrant with a background in healthcare reflects on the difficulties he faces when searching for a job: “The feedback I got was always either I am overqualified or have no relevant job experience. But there were times where I felt that the reason was simply my name or where I came from, or my accent, or the lack of connections.”

Launching during Immigrant Heritage Month, the Pittsburgh Connector Program will allow Connectees to gain valuable insight into the local job market while providing established professionals with an opportunity to play a direct role in opening doors for newcomers like Tarek.

“As the immigrant population continues to grow in the Pittsburgh region, we must recognize this emerging untapped pool of professionals and their unique needs,” says County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “This new Connector Program will reach the people who otherwise would not know about the many opportunities available in alignment with their interests and skill set.”

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About the National Connector Program
Led by the Halifax Partnership, the National Connector Program provides communities with a turn-key solution that increases talent retention through the process of networking. Currently based in 35 communities and growing, the National Connector Program is a successful model to help retain talent, engage employers, and create a more welcoming community. Learn more at www.connectorprogram.ca.

About All for All
All for All connects people, organizations, and communities to actions that build a welcoming and inclusive region for all. Driven by collaboration with community and cross-sector partners, All for All aims to advance economic opportunity, break down barriers, and further immigrant inclusion across the Pittsburgh region. All for All is guided by the Immigrant Community Blueprint, a comprehensive community-designed plan. Learn more at www.changeagency.world/all-for-all.

Media Contacts:

Sasha Sears  
Program Manager
National Connector Program
O: 902-490-5510
halifaxpartnership.com

Anna Shepperson
Economic Development Coordinator
All for All
changeagency.world