Interconnection Research International Incorporated has developed, coordinated, and facilitated over 29 youth programs (Youth Entrepreneurship Program, Youth Employment Readiness Program, and Skilled Trade Employment Pathway Program to Clean Energy Sector) with an average 92% success rate over the past 15 years.
Interconnection Research International Ltd. sponsored and facilitated seven successful, year-long Youth Entrepreneurship Programs (YEP) in Durham Region between 2003 and 2009. With a 92-94% success rate in launching young entrepreneurs' businesses, our program was one of the most successful in Ontario. Approximately 126 businesses were started, grown, modified, or new businesses started out of the experience of the first business by young entrepreneurs supported through YEP; approximately two employees on average per business gained employment in addition to the entrepreneurs - thus creating employment for an average of 378 people over the time period.
Building on the success of this program, we were approached to develop a Youth Employment Readiness Program (YERP) in 2010. With two entry points per year (six-month intakes), to date, we have successfully launched an average of approximately 2200 youth-at-risk into the workforce or to college, university, apprenticeships, and/or academic upgrading.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Nicole Andrews, President and Founder of Interconnection Research International Ltd. (IRI Inc.), brings the strategic focus, vision and mature judgment gained during a successful career guiding the creation and implementation of hundreds of training/development programs, HR enhancements, and business advisory services to generate sustained positive results. Leveraging diverse financial, business optimization and accounting expertise to a variety of entrepreneurial, training, and market-making businesses, Nicole’s experience has enabled her to significantly impact the profitability and growth objectives for organizations and individuals. In addition to business advisory and development, IRI Inc. has sponsored and coordinated Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment Readiness Programs in the GTA area since 2005/2006 with great success rates.
Prior to starting IRI Inc., Nicole built a private vocational college from a green field site – ultimately taking the position of Dean. This private institution was very successful in capturing training programs with Human Resources Development Canada (2 million in its first year), as well as promoting small business workshops for local businesses and regular Diploma programming.
Among other significant previous positions, Nicole served as the Chief Executive Officer of a Community Industrial Training Committee (CITC), coordinating over 125 programs annually. She was responsible for not only the design and delivery of programs – but the financial management of federal and provincial funding of upwards of half a million dollars annually.
Nicole continues to work closely with youth at risk and business by providing training, guidance, and business expertise. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business/Managerial Economics from Lake Superior State University, a Business Administration Diploma, Accounting, and Finance, Certified A.M.C.T, Association of Municipal Clerk Treasurers of Ontario.
In terms of our personal qualifications, Interconnection Research International (IRI Inc.) is owned by a sole shareholder, Nicole Andrews, who has over 30 years of direct experience in organizational management and reporting systems, client-based and corporate training design and development, financial management, and forecasting, and team coordination design and techniques. Nicole has worked with an Industrial Training Committee (CITCs) – coordinating over 125 programs annually. She moved on from the CITCs to become a Dean at a private college where she managed Diploma programs and tendered on a variety of government-funded programs with Service Canada. She was responsible for not only the design and delivery of programs – but the financial management of federal and provincial funding. In addition to coordinating the 2003 YIP program, and sponsoring the YIP and YERP programs annually since Nicole continues to work closely with youth at risk in the Durham Region by providing guidance to the several youth-at-risk committees and centres.