Funding Announced for Immigrant Retention Initiative

November 15, 2017



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Commentary: Ignite Fredericton

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Funding Announced for Immigrant Retention Initiative

In an effort to better attract and retain newcomers in the province, the provincial and federal government will be contributing over $410,000 to an initiative led by the province's social & public innovation hub, designed to support new solutions for newcomer retention. NouLAB,  a joint consultancy formed by the University of New Brunswick’s Pond-Deshpande Centre and Social Policy Research Network, will be leading the charge through its Economic Immigration Lab to position New Brunswick as a place of opportunity for skilled foreign workers.

As the City of Fredericton’s economic development agency responsible for immigration, Ignite Fredericton and the Local Immigration Partnership of Fredericton (LIPF) are actively engaged with the new Economic Immigration Lab. This innovative process will enable the province to better integrate newcomers more successfully.

Diverse stakeholders were invited to work in teams that act collectively in identifying the issues of immigration recruitment and retention. The topic for the lab is “How does New Brunswick aim to become leaders in attracting, welcoming and retaining newcomers to the province in order to contribute to a robust economy?”

Groups have been formed to target specific immigration settlement and integration issues. It is a four month process and a diverse pool of participants have been selected. The work and the prototype building carried out is based on fieldwork, coaching collaboration, personal experience and strategic network use.

Four members from the LIPF Council are currently involved in the innovative process - focusing on issues related to their field of work and expertise.

The LIPF project team and Ignite Fredericton are involved in the development of a prototype that examines how may our community, at a citizen and stakeholder level, enhance the current model of interaction between locals and newcomers, in order to allow them to settle and integrate better in not only our workforce, but also our community.

“ The successful settlement and integration of newcomers depend on a range of economic and social factors. This lab allows you to tap into all of those opportunities by bringing together multiple stakeholders from a different industries to come up with new ideas. We are very proud to be taking part in such an innovative approach to assist with newcomer settlement and integration,“ says Adriana Rivas, Population Growth Specialist at Ignite Fredericton and| Local Immigration Partnership of Fredericton Manager. “We are very pleased with the funding announcement and look forward to continued collaboration and partaking in such innovative practice.”

"NouLAB's Economic Immigration Lab provides an ideal space of the exchange, debate, and shaping of ideas that will lead to steps to solve issues affecting the integration of newcomers throughout NB,” said Sebastian Salazar - Chavez, Community Liaison and Planner for the City of Fredericton. “I am very happy to be participating in the Economic Immigration Lab in representation of the City of Fredericton and I am eager to put those ideas into action."

About NouLAB
NouLAB is New Brunswick's public and social innovation lab created to help the public and innovators act together to address our most pressing social, environmental, and economic challenges. By connecting change agents from across sectors, convening them around pressing issues, and facilitating their journey to deep change, NouLAB is making the change process smarter.

About Ignite Fredericton
As the community’s economic development catalyst agency, Ignite Fredericton is focused on business growth and attraction, population growth (student retention, immigration, repatriation), and various strategic initiatives to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.