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Western REN says thanks to participants in 'connector' program during Yarmouth event

Nina Barnaby (left), learning co-ordinator at NSCC Burridge Digby, chats with Brenda LaGrandeur, the connector program manager for the Western Regional Enterprise Network, and Hans Pfeil, director of public works for the Municipality of Argyle, during the Western REN’s connector recognition event March 13 in Yarmouth. Barnaby and Pfeil are two of the connectors.
Nina Barnaby (left), learning co-ordinator at NSCC Burridge Digby, chats with Brenda LaGrandeur, the connector program manager for the Western Regional Enterprise Network, and Hans Pfeil, director of public works for the Municipality of Argyle, during the Western REN’s connector recognition event March 13 in Yarmouth. Barnaby and Pfeil are two of the connectors. - Eric Bourque

As it wraps up its second year, the connector program of the Western Regional Enterprise Network continues to make connections, linking business and community leaders with people who are looking for work opportunities.

An event in Yarmouth on March 13 was a chance to recognize the program’s connectors.

Held at the Cineplex Cinemas, the lunchtime event also included the screening of two new videos promoting the connector program, one from the perspective of connectors, the other from the perspective of “connectees,” said Branda LaGrandeur, manager of the Western REN’s connector program.

Over the western connector program’s two-year history, she said, the number of “connectees” – or job seekers – has reached 87 while the number of connectors is up to 98.

“Those are great numbers,” LaGrandeur said, “but they really are so much more than stats. These numbers represent people who are engaged and invested in our communities. They are newcomers, young people looking to stay, whether as graduates or coming back home from either studies or adventure.”

They may be underemployed locals – people who perhaps have a degree but aren’t working – or they could be “boomerangers,” folks from here who left the region for work and who have returned.

“What they have in common is that they are all skilled, positive, hopeful and looking to build a career and a life in our western region,” LaGrandeur said.

“And the way they find success is by being introduced to connectors.”

Connectors are business and community leaders, often employers.

“What they mostly have in common is that they believe in the region and are proud and happy to help those connectees build their network and hopefully uncover opportunities.”

The Western REN’s connector program is one of five such programs in the province.

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