As part of NWPB’s commitment to keep you updated on our latest workforce research, analysis, and community work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, here are the latest developments on NWPB’s Immigrant Mentorship Program from our mentorship program coordinator, Josie Faccini:
In this time of uncertainty and job loss, we wanted to share a good news story of opportunity.
Simone is one of our mentees who came into our Immigrant Mentorship Program in late 2018 through a referral from the YMCA. NWPB’s Immigrant Mentorship Program is designed to introduce newcomers to their industry in Niagara, and the Canadian workplace culture, in order to help recent immigrants better understand Niagara’s labour market and grow their local professional network. Simone was a biologist from Brazil who was not working in her profession and was unaware of opportunities in Niagara that fit her background, and so our mentorship program was recommended to her based on her needs. After a lengthy search for a mentor, much longer than usual, Vicki came to us from our partnership with Leadership Niagara.
Vicki works at Niagara Health, in the Laboratory Medicine program, and it just seemed right from the beginning that this would be a great match. They spent time focusing on career opportunities for Simone, with an emphasis on medical lab technicians and technologists, as the NHS had an overwhelming need for this role. Simone was provided the opportunity to job shadow and connect with other clinical professionals within the program. During that time, Simone decide to pursue educational training for a medical lab technician after learning about the profession and opportunities from her mentor.
However, due to the pandemic, Simone’s program is postponed as well as her clinical placement.
A few weeks back I saw a post on LinkedIn from Blake Landry of Regional Economic Development, who is also a mentor in our program. He has been providing insight on local companies that have stepped up to the plate to produce products to fight this pandemic. One company has been producing test kits for COVID-19 and looks like they will be ramping up production to meet the supply need. I provided this information to our mentees whose professional backgrounds met this companies’ capabilities.
Simone proudly took this opportunity into her own hands, reached out to the company’s HR contact, sent her resume, and was hired.
Simone’s path in Canada has been helped by many of the partnerships that NWPB’s Immigrant Mentorship Program has forged with organizations in Niagara, and from individuals who are community leaders who want to help newcomers.
Now more than ever, we need hope and we need to support one another, so please do so in whatever way you can.
From Josie and the NWPB staff
Are you are interested in our Immigrant Mentorship Program? Do you have questions about becoming a mentor or mentee within the program? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our mentorship program coordinator, Josie Faccini.
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