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The Welcoming & Inclusive Communities and Workplace Programs Project
January 20, 2009 – Parksville, BC: In continuing its work with the Ministry of Attorney General and Citizenship and Immigration Canada to launch a Welcoming & Inclusive Communities & Workplace Programs Project focusing on a Regional Immigrant Integration Strategy for Vancouver Island, VIEA held an Island Wide stakeholders meeting recently in Parksville.
 
Key stakeholders from across the island came together to discuss aspects of how to achieve a welcoming and inclusive Vancouver Island.
 
Employers shared their experiences in attracting immigrant workers. Recent Immigrants shared their experiences in successfully integrating into our region. And stakeholders collectively addressed how we can work together to address gaps identified in the ongoing research.
 
Actions identified for collaboration include: 
1 Create a Regional Coordination function. 
2 Centralize Information for immigrants – expand/promote the Welcome BC website. 
3. Provide Cultural/Communication Training (workshops) for people in the community.                                     
4 Facilitate linking “recruiters” with immigrant settlement services. 
5 Prepare Employers and offer support programs for successful work placements for immigrants and employers. 
6 Share information & resources. 
7 Develop Policies to address the gaps. 
8 Identify funding and next projects that are easier and can be built upon.
 
“It was an opportunity for people to come and learn more about the project, suggest improvements that they saw may be and make connections with other stakeholders and start getting into action,” says Rick Roberts, VIEA Director.
 
The next planning committee meeting will be held on February 24th in Nanaimo.
 
The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) is a not for profit, membership driven organization which represents the businesses on Vancouver Island with a focus on developing a model that will allow Vancouver Island to compete effectively for investment and skills attraction in a global market.
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