Are you passionate about making a real difference in the lives of newcomers to the Island? Join our network of Volunteer Connectors and help connect new islanders to the business community!
WHO ARE CONNECTORS?
Connectors are established business and community leaders who volunteer their time to help immigrant entrepreneurs, and job-seekers who are new to the local labour market adapt to the local business environment. They provide one-on-one advice and support to our clients, as well as access to key contacts.
Eligibility Criteria: Connectors can be anyone with real work experience who is willing to share their knowledge. They could be the person you share a wall with or sit next to at lunch. They could be you or me. Whether you have a few years of experience or are an executive, you have the potential to be a Connector.
WHY BECOME A VOLUNTEER CONNECTOR?
Gary Scales’ involvement with PEI Connectors goes back at least a decade. As the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce evolved its programming to include immigrants, Gary grasped the importance of this development and became engaged as a Connector. His role as Office Lead Partner for Prince Edward Island at McInnes Cooper gave him many opportunities to work with immigrants both as colleagues and as clients. “I know the struggle that they face coming here and all the value that PEI Connectors provides,” he says.
Aside from the personal satisfaction of giving back to the community, Gary sees two major benefits in volunteering and facilitating connections: first, newcomers find belonging and inclusion in the community, and second, they are encouraged to remain on the Island long-term and achieve success in enterprise or employment. He credits the growth and success of the PEI Connectors program to the dedication and competence of the staff who care about their clients and want to see them find solid footing in PEI.
Gary was born and raised in PEI but completed his studies off-Island and abroad. Having returned to PEI and begun his career in the late 1990’s, he has seen the benefits of increasing diversity in the Island community, and wants to see those positive contributions continue. “The quality of people that come through the program is exceptional. They bring a lot of background from all over the world and great experiences here to PEI. Employers are looking for really great people and PEI Connectors helps to fill that gap,” he says.
Written by: Elizabeth Iwunwa
Photography: Greg Ellison, Ellison Media
For more Connector and Client stories, click here.