Posted:11 November 2020
Found in: Community Capacity Building
This week's guest blog post is by Alberta Mentorship Program.
We believe mentorship can change lives.
That is why the Alberta Mentorship Program is encouraging organizations, employers, and individuals to get involved in mentorship throughout the province. Mentorship can build better community and company culture through learning, knowledge sharing, and exploring challenges. This is especially important for newcomers to our province.
Our program connects organizations, employers, mentors, and mentees to mentorship resources to support them to offer mentorship programs, and services in their community. Mentorship works to bridge individuals to career opportunities and this program is focused on supporting mentorship work in rural and smaller urban communities. It is led by Doug Piquette with the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council in collaboration with a provincial project team and stakeholder advisory committee. The project is made possible with funding provided by the Government of Alberta through an agreement with the Government of Canada.
A key part of the Alberta Mentorship Program is our pilot program. Two community partner organizations are currently running pilot mentorship programs building on their work with mentorship and immigrant services.
Our Southern Alberta pilot site, Lethbridge Family Services, was doing what many mentorship programs do. “We ran off the side of our desk,” says Tyler Ramsay. Participating in the pilot program gave them the support and mentoring they needed to solidify and grow their program. “The AMP helped to bring structure, best practices, and measurability to our mentorship program,” says Ramsay. “Without the AMP we would likely never have been able to have the same level of success that we are currently experiencing.”
Northern Alberta YMCA in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo found similar success growing their program with the support of our pilot program. “The journey to refine our mentorship supports to the Fort McMurray region has seen successes and challenges, and while this is but one aspect of the programming we offer, it has significant importance for those seeking mentorship,” says Erin Brann.
These pilots are supported by our program partners including Edmonton and the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Councils (ERIEC & CRIEC). Tapping into the experience of ERIEC and CRIEC builds on their success and shares it with our pilot program. Our mission is to spread mentorship in a way that is engaging and sustainable throughout the province of Alberta. Part of that is to connect mentorship programs so they can share experiences, challenges, and ideas.
Both our pilot sites found this connection invaluable. “The biggest support for me was having the help of ERIEC and CRIEC through various bumps and barriers.” Says Ramsay. “Whether it was a quick email, connecting me to additional people/resources, or bouncing feedback off of them of what I was seeing.”
“Coming together and learning from the expertise of ERIEC and other agencies has been instrumental in the progress that we have made and in the way that our mentorship project is shaping up,” says Brann. “Having these supports in place for guidance and resources helps us succeed in our efforts.”
Creating a freely accessible website that addresses all stages of a mentorship program was a key goal of our program. The site contains success stories; information to support mentors and mentees, program administrators, and employers; and samples, forms, and planning tools for participants and programs.
Our website supports organizations that are planning a new mentorship program or running programs but looking for additional tools or information. The website provides resources for mentors, mentees, and employers. These resources are available directly to these individuals or to programs who can use it for their participants and partners.
As part of the project, our pilot partners are evaluating our resources and providing feedback so we can further develop website features and content. This provides a self-contained platform that can help any organization launch their own mentorship program.
The focus on our program is to support newcomers to Canada looking for career help. But we recognize that the resources on the website could support mentorship programs for other target audiences and general career mentorship program goals.
The Alberta Mentorship program provides this site and all the resources to support anyone who can benefit from mentorship. It is our hope that this website and the pilot program will plant the seeds of a mentorship culture in Alberta. We hope to connect organizations, companies, and people who are interested in mentorship, so together we can create a provincial mentoring culture that will build a stronger Alberta.
Join us! We are holding a free, online session on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 10 am to celebrate the official launch of our website. Register for your spot today.
Connect to us. A key part of our website will be to collect information about existing mentorship programs and other services for newcomers so we can connect Albertans to you. Let us know if you want to be added to our organizational directory.
Try out our resources. After the launch, we will be sharing our free Resource Guide and website so you have lots of templates, forms, samples, information that will support you whether you are a mentorship program, potential employer, mentor, or mentee. Sign up for our virtual launch and get the guide straight to your inbox.