One major project which has just been funded by the Immigrant Integration Branch, Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, is the Tri Cities Welcoming and Inclusive Community and Workplace Demonstration Project (WICWP). The project will place 15 to 18 foreign trained human services professionals in community agencies for a work experience and perhaps future employment. This initiative was developed by the Tri Cities Planning Group, which is a committee that collaborates to meet the needs of children, youth and families in the Tri Cities. They have been working together for the past four years and membership consists of Executive Director’s of community agencies, a MCFD manager along with Jan Carrie and Gary Tennant as Dean’s of Child, Family and Community Studies.
The lead agency on the WICWP is SUCCESS, a large multicultural agency. Douglas will house the project at David Lam and provide research and evaluation through the Centre for Health and Community Partnerships. CFCS and EASL will team up to deliver the classroom components. CFCS will also introduce participants to the service learning component and liaison with community agencies who will mentor participants.
There are three primary activities within this project:
1. Organization Dialogue on Integration;
2. Training and Placement; and
3. Evaluation and Monitoring, and Development of a Model for Welcoming and Inclusive Community
This project demonstrates an excellent model of a community collaboration which will support the integration of new immigrants into the community, recognize their experience outside of Canada and address work force shortages in the social service sector.
Watch Sharon Goldberg (SUCCESS BC), Geri Patterson (Douglas College), and Kathy Bell (Douglas College) present the initiative at BCPLAN SUMMIT 2010.