IC Network Group Mentoring
The Iranian-Canadian Network (IC Network) was founded in 2002 as a network of Iranian-Canadian business owners, professionals and community members. This Network was initiated by members of the Iranian Community Advisory Council of Family Service Association of Metro Toronto (FSA) to take initiative in addressing the issue of unemployment, under-employment and self-employment in the Iranian community living in Canada. The idea developed rapidly into the first ethno-specific and occupational-specific group-mentoring program with the following mandate:
• Provide information and mentoring for Iranian job seekers in obtaining suitable employment;
• Provide information and mentoring for Iranian entrepreneurs in establishing new businesses;
• Link knowledgeable professionals and business people to Iranian job seekers for the purpose of mentoring;
• Provide Iranian employers with information about the job-ready Iranians;
• Provide referrals for job seekers to better utilize the existing employment services.
The Mentoring program, previously in partnership with JVS of Toronto and sponsored by the Trillium Foundation was under assessment as a “model” program to be deployed by other Canadian-newcomer communities.
As of 2009, IC Network has utilized community source funding to solely conduct 100% of its activities under the Mentoring program.
Mentoring is a combined and holistic approach to empowering newcomers pursuing career aspirations in Canada. The Mentoring program’s objectives are to enhance knowledge of professional and business practices, increase mentees’ personal confidence in the marketplace, raise awareness of the broad range of employment opportunities available, improve job search skills and tools, and establish a broad network of contacts within the mentees’ profession and among other internationally trained professionals. Professional sectors for the mentoring program include Information Technology, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, as well as Nutrition and Food Science.
Our results to date have been impressive: well over 70% of the mentees under our mentoring program have managed to obtain employment in the field of their education.