Connector Program a network to help newcomers to Central Okanagan integrate more easily into their communities. Image Credit: Contributed

Connector Program a network to help newcomers to Central Okanagan integrate more easily into their communities. Image Credit: Contributed

Making a connection

The Connector Program launched for Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country.

When it comes to finding a job, in today’s business world it’s often not what you know but who you know that creates employment or business opportunities.

Realizing that, the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission has launched the Connector Program, an attempt to match the right people with newcomers, spouses and partners of newly relocated professionals and recent graduates looking to start or revive their careers.

Corrie Griffiths, COEDC director, said this community integration program is modelled after a similar initiative first attempted in Halifax, N.S.

Griffiths said job seekers and employers rely much more today on networking to either find new employees or job openings.

“Often we think of the Central Okanagan now as having a somewhat hidden job market, so we feel this program is a job seeking strategy through networking,” Griffiths said.

“But it’s also about more than finding a job. It also provides an opportunity for new people moving to our community to get better integrated wherever they might want to lend their skills, such as volunteering.”

Griffiths said 45 community leaders in business, health care, post-secondary education, technology and public administration have volunteered their time as program connectors.

Connectors are asked to meet with two to three individuals a year for a 45 to 60 minute information meeting.

There is also an initial application process to ensure applicants are vetted to ensure job readiness and an ability to connect into the community with their interests or skill-sets, Griffiths added.

To participate in the program, apply online at investkelowna.com/connector or contact workforce@investkelowna.com for more information.